Last Words | Forgive Them | Fleeing the Prison
But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15
The prison was deserted; the war had been won. Enemy troops left everything behind and fled. Only two POW’s remained in their cells. Brock had fashioned a pole and with it reached a set of keys dropped by a fleeing soldier. Within minutes, he had unlocked his cell door. He tossed the keys through the bars to his buddy, Kent, and turned to stuff meager possessions into a duffle. “Man, let’s get outta here!” he cried. He bolted through his open door and turned to see Kent still huddled in a dejected heap in the corner. “What’s wrong? Let’s go!” he cried. Kent shook his head. “Nah, you go on. I got used to this place. I hate it, but at least it’s familiar. I’ll be OK.” Despite an hour of fruitless pleading, Brock ended up leaving without him
As foolish as Kent seems to us, we often do the same thing he did. We’ve been wounded, imprisoned by the choices of someone else. Anger takes over. Bitterness seethes through every pore. We hate it, we hate them, but hatred becomes familiar. The joy we once felt at walking in fellowship with God evaporates and the world becomes a dark, ugly place. That’s what Jesus meant when He spoke these words. We cannot walk in the freedom of God’s forgiveness if we refuse to forgive other people. We can’t escape the cell we’re in if we won’t take the key. Unforgiveness is a prison of our own choosing.
Final Thought: Forgiveness is the key to unlocking the prison cell of bitterness and rage.
Prayer: Father, I’ve lived in that prison for a long time. You know how deep the hurt is, but I’m only continuing the pain by hanging on to it. I let go now and forgive as you’ve forgiven me. Thank you for freeing me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.