Set Free

I have a Facebook Friend who went through a divorce several years ago. I finally had to block her posts because every comment was tinged with anger and bitterness. Sadly, she is a prisoner to pain of the past she has bundled up and drags around with her everyday. It has become a heavy burden that weighs her down and robs her (and everyone around her) of peace and joy. The lines on her face speak to the lines of hate etched on her heart.

In her mind she is justified because of the injustice done to her by her former spouse. The reality is she will be trapped in the past, and all its pain, until she lets go of it. The only way to do that is to forgive. Forgiveness, at its core, is the letting go of the claim you have on your right to be angry and bitter toward the person who hurt you. It is not about what they do or don’t deserve; it’s about you. It is the only way you will ever heal from the wounds of your past. Write it down, underscore it, and highlight it. Begin today to pray for the grace you need to forgive those who hurt you and reap the peace and joy tomorrow of a prisoner who has been set free.

The song, Forgiveness, by Matthew West captures this truth quite well. If you are struggling with forgiveness, its worth reading these lyrics closely:

It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those who don’t deserve

It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
Takes everything you have to say the word

It’s always angers own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you’ve got a right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying, “set it free”

Lord, show me how to love the unlovable
Teach me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

It can clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what its power can do

So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of Grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

(c) Matthew West
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Then Peter approaching asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” – Matthew 18:21-22

Originally posted 2014-10-02 06:00:55.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “Set Free

  1. I find it easier to forgive my ex spouse than forgiving other ex friends or relative that were only “collaboratos on the damage”, but I feel I would also get free if I could forgive them too.

    • Fernando,

      I totally understand where you are coming from. There is a real sense of betrayal when it comes to your friends and relatives that you thought you could trust. My advice is always the same: forgive them as it sets YOU free from your past and your pain. Take it in small steps and pray daily for the grace to forgive. Going to reconciliation and receiving forgiveness helps to give forgiveness.

      Live Abundantly,

  2. Thank you for this beautiful post. I found I was given a great gift when I asked for the intercession of St. Maria Goretti, (and of course our Blessed Mother) when I was going through my divorce. Both helped me to obtain God’s gifts of mercy and forgiveness – not only towards my former spouse but also towards myself.