A Place of Grace
Thought of the Week
October 29, 2018
(Note: A Place of Grace is published on a weekly basis)
Have You Been Slimed?
A teacher once told each of her students to
bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes to school. For every person
they refuse to forgive in their life's experience, they chose a potato, wrote on
it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of the students bags
were quite heavy.
They were then told to carry this bag with them everywhere for one week, putting it beside their bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to their desk at work, anywhere they went, the bag had to be right with them. The hassle of lugging this sack around with them made it clear what a weight they were carrying spiritually and how they had to pay attention to it at all times so as not to forget and leave it in embarrassing places. Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty, smelly slime. This, of course, made them unpleasant to be around. It didn't take long for each of the students to figure out that getting rid of the potatoes was much more important than carrying them around.
When I read this, I thought what an excellent visual example of how ugly, nasty and smelly unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, and resentment is. When the potatoes start rotting, they get smelly, mushy, slimy and heavy. Our hearts become heavy with the burden of unforgiveness. We may look great on the outside but inside we look like that old sack of slimy, smelly potatoes.
I had a great Pastor once speak on unforgiveness. She said that forgiveness doesn't mean that you are saying what the person did to you was alright. You must forgive others and have your heart clean so God can forgive you. Before she said this, I had a hard time forgiving a couple of people because of abuse and I felt if I said I forgave them it was like saying it was alright and it was not alright. When she explained what it meant, a weight was taken off of me because I could let go of the bitterness and resentment. Many of us can say; "But you just don't know what I have been through and what they did to me!" Well, I am here to say oh, yes I do know cause I have been there. I think most of us do have a story. But we all need to completely forgive others and ourselves, no matter how horrific the offense to us was.
When we do wrong, we seem to hold onto condemnation and feel such shame. When we ask Jesus to forgive us, He totally and completely forgives us. We only need to accept His forgiveness and believe that what His Word says is true. Our sins are cast into the deepest sea, never to be remembered anymore. And someone said that Jesus puts up a "No Fishing" sign. I like that, we are not to bring them back up again and the Word says; "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
So my friend, get rid of that nasty, slimy, stinking bag of potatoes, of unforgiveness and feel the peace and freedom that comes from letting go and letting God cleanse your heart and mind.
Romans 8:1 Matthew 6:9-15 Psalms 51:10-12 Psalms 55:22
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