I have been the queen of holding grudges in my life. If someone crosses me I am quick to cut them off with no remorse. Holding on to that much resentment, only hurt myself. I began to isolate myself and felt like the world was against me. When really, I had the greatest, most loyal Father by my side. Jesus teaches us to forgive, so we may be free from carrying a ledger, filled with all of the wrongdoings that have been inflicted upon us. Holding on to a heavy past closes future doors and prevents us from trusting new opportunities and relationships.
Jesus goes beyond just saying, “I forgive you”. He lives forgiveness. In John 13, Jesus cleans the feet of the two friends He knew would soon betray Him. He selflessly serves them. He offers His forgiveness to everyone. No sin is too great for Him. In this, He represents a way to live without holding on to grudges. When first reading through this chapter, naturally, I was angry at Judas and Peter for turning their backs on Jesus after all He has done for them. It was difficult to understand how Jesus was able to offer His forgiveness. I didn’t believe I could do the same to those who have done me wrong.
Reading through the chapter a second time, I realized that we are the same as Judas and Peter. We deny Him and turn Him away. We continue to hurt Him by deserting Him in our choices, yet He takes us back with open arms every time. He washes our feet. He cleanses us from our sin. We are all sinners and must understand that we are no worse or better than our brothers and sisters. We must learn together and push each other towards Jesus by offering forgiveness and freedom. We must spare one another and show grace so we may one day meet again in the kingdom of heaven.
We must also accept forgiveness. In order to move forward, we must move out of a life of sin. The devil tempts and tricks us to sin, then traps us into living in our guilt, regret and resentment. Jesus offers a way out. He has already payed the price. The battle has been won. All we need to do is repent and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. This doesn’t mean that we have a free pass to sin. It means we are able to leave our old lives behind and begin again with Him. We will be tempted, but we can now lean on the King to keep us strong. Soon enough, the appeal of sin will be a distant memory as your faith and relationship with Jesus blossoms ❤
“Love keeps no record of wrongs.” -1 Corinthians 13:5