by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday March 17, 2005
One of the most beautiful examples of a forgiving spirit is found in the book of Genesis. Despite being the victim of jealousy, evil intentions, malicious plotting, and selfish disregard, Joseph had attitude of forgiveness that was unmatched in the Old Testament. He was obviously a godly man who understood how to deal with resentment, because we see him responding in the right way to every new hurt.
When we refuse to release our unforgiveness, we can expect to go through a series of painful steps. First, we will have difficulty dealing with the wrong done to us. If we choose to forgive at this point, we can skip many of the remaining steps. But if we cling to resentment, bitterness will take root, and we'll begin to experience defeat in relationships, emotions, attitudes, and even in our physical body. Defeat leads to discouragement. We may look successful to the world, but true contentment and joy will evade us. Feeling love for others will be hampered, as will experiencing love in return. Eventually, despair will set in, which can create such inner turmoil that some people resort to drugs, alcohol, affairs, pleasure, travel, or workaholism in an effort to find relief. Tragically, some people try even more frantic measures.
But there is hope for those wise enough to look for a spiritual way out of their desperation. A pastor or Christian counselor might be able to help detect what is wrong deep inside. Often people discover a root of bitterness that developed from an unforgiving spirit. By opening our heart and accepting help, we can find deliverance.
Be sure to tell your teen about Teen Connection - the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. This cutting-edge web site is filled with practical content, including articles, interviews, a study guide, and devotionals, for teenagers of all spiritual maturity levels. The featured interview for March is best-selling band Caedmon's Call. Check out Teen Connection today!
Are you looking to take the next step in your spiritual walk? Enroll today in the Charles Stanley Institute for Christian Living - a free, virtual one-on-one mentoring program with Dr. Charles Stanley. Register online today at www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com.