Scripture: Ephesians 4:31 – 32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
The moment I heard this song it immediately resonated with my spirit. It wasn’t just because I happen to love the sound of James Bay’s voice or the the catchiness of the chorus. Don’t get me wrong that helped a lot, but as I listened to it I realised that it perfectly summed up how I feel about a particular friendship.
Me and the particular individual went from being very close to one another, to barely being able to stand in each other’s presence for more than 5 minutes. There was no big bust up, neither were any foul words exchanged it just seemed that at some point an inexplicable distance formed between us and we have never been able to close it. However, rather than accept that fact for what it is, I would tell myself that that person was in the wrong, that they had not treated me fairly. I would analyse all the conversations we had over the course of our friendship and look for inconsistencies, and keep a record of all their misdemeanors in my head, just in case I should ever need to justify the coldness that had come to replace the warm friendship we once enjoyed.
I did all of that not to feel self righteous but because I couldn’t understand what had happened to our wonderful friendship and I felt hurt by what had become of us. I had prayed about forgiveness but was too busy seeking out answers to actually really let the holy spirit minister to me about how how to actually forgive. Yet as I listened to this chorus for the first time I realised that in all my prayers about forgiveness I thought I was suddenly going to feel compelled to run up to this person and give them a hug and that everything would return to how it had been. Yet that just simply is not the case. Forgiveness is about letting go. It is a conscious choice that we must make if we want to move forward. It is one that needs to be made irrespective of how disappointed we are about the way things turned out. Ephesians 4:31 tells us that we should put bitterness and malice away from us. That is, in my mind bible speak for what James Bay sings so passionately on his chorus. We need to let it go. Let’s forget the anger and frustration we feel and decide to let things go. Certain situations need to be left where they are because nothing can be done to improve them; so rather than focus on those things let us instead focus on what we are able to change.
As I am writing this I am filled with apprehension because I am going through a season where my ability to forgive is being tested on a daily basis and I am not finding it easy at all. Nevertheless, the reality is I know this to be true, I desire to move forward but I can’t progress if I keep my mind in the past.
I pray that God will help all of us to leave things in the past and focus on what is at hand. I pray in Jesus name that we will be able to erase hurts from the past from the pages of our mind and instead fill our minds with new memories. People come into our lives at different seasons, for different reasons and when their time is up I pray we would wholeheartedly thank the Lord for whatever lessons they have left in their wake.