Why don’t people just forgive? That’s a good question. The sad reality is that there’s short-term, relational destructive power in refusing to forgive. We keep a record of wrongs because we’re not motivated by what honors God and is best for others, but by what’s expedient for ourselves.
Here are a few of the DARK “benefits”.
1) Debt is Power: There’s power in having something to hold over another’s head. There’s power in using a person’s weakness and failure against them.
2) Debt Puts Us In God’s Position: It’s the one place that we must never be; but it’s also a position that we’ve all put ourselves in. We are not the judge of others. We are not the one who should dispense consequences for other’s sin. It’s not our job to make sure they feel the appropriate amount of guilt for what they’ve done. But it’s very tempting to ascend to God’s throne and to make ourselves judge!
This is nasty stuff. It’s a relational lifestyle driven by ugly selfishness. We’re so focused on the failures of others that we’re blind to ourselves. We forget how often we fail, and how desperately we need the grace that we’re given daily, but unwilling to offer to others!
Forgiveness is the only way to not be kidnapped by the past!