I read about a lady who had been attending a divorce recovery group every Tuesday night for 20 years, and every Tuesday night for 20 years she came spewing out all of her anger and bitterness toward the husband who had abandoned her for another woman. The leader asked, “Why can’t you just move on with your life? Why can’t you just let go of your anger?” And she said, “Because it is the only story I have.” That’s sad to me. Until you forgive, anger and bitterness is your only story. But that is not the only story God has for you. No matter how deeply you have been wounded or hurt, God wants to write a new chapter in your life. At some point you have to write the end to the old story, even if it is an unhappy ending. The only way to experience the new life God has for you is when you forgive your offender and move on. To forgive is to put a period where you have been putting a comma. It is only through forgiveness that you will discover the beautiful new story that God has dreamed up for your life. The apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4, “to put away all bitterness and anger.” To put it away means to forgive. When you forgive you give it up. You let it go. Forgiveness is the way to put a period at the end of the story. It is the way you begin to discover the new story that God has for your new life. Who do you need to forgive? What do you need to let go of today so you can begin living God’s new story?
– Dr. Tim Thompson