Of forgiving your brother and releasing your enemy

Thinking and praying

Words filled with hatred and fueled with anger. They are like a ball of fire, destroying everything around it. They rip through the structures of trust and burn through the delicate threads that knit our souls together. No artist will ever be able to restore them. The fire’s touch will be visible forever. The flaming arrows hit their goal and it burns so brightly because the heart was so open.

After everything is consumed that lay so open, the flame goes out and coldness starts to overlay the heart. Deepest trust turned into deepest pain and hatred. Unyielding silence, the black in their eyes and the choosing of their weapons. Brothers become enemies and love turns to hate. What once was so precious is now lost and the ashes of this miracle are now filling hearts with bitterness.

A war between confidants never yields a winner. Both have lost more than they can ever win back. Their hearts are now removed from each other and some parts will now remain locked forever.

Bowing our head

At times, this can be an opportunity for the friendship. Adversaries overcome can strengthen the bond immensely. Humility paired with boldness can save two destinies. Stepping up without our armor might yield unexpected gain. It might bring back what we have lost, a true reconciliation.

Don’t let too much time pass as hope will die and high walls and fortresses will be built. Reconcile as soon as your heart is ready and extend grace in private first. Never turn your apology into an accusation.

Facing the unknown

We have to be bold because they might say no. The beauty of relationships is that they are freely chosen. We are appreciated for who we are and others choose to be with us without any outside force. What makes it so great is also what makes it risky. They might tell you to get lost. They might need time to let your words sink in, they might need time to accept your sincerity. They might even be justified in cutting you off as some betrayal eradicates any chance of future trust.

Whatever the outcome might be, you have to take the risk of trying. It’s what you owe to the brotherhood. If you messed up, it’s on you to overcome your pride and humble yourself before your brother. You have to own it as a sign of guilt, an admittance of failure and wrongdoing. In acknowledging sin we testify to our need to be forgiven.

Forgiveness will heal you

Even if your call is not answered, you always have to forgive. It’s a fundamental cornerstone of our faith and something we teach our children from a young age. Both the Old and the New Testament are filled with quotes, examples, and testimonies of forgiveness.

If we don’t release the people who mistreated us, we will carry the main burden. The people we hate might not remember what they did but their sin stays with us. We feel justified to hate and cook in our disrespect for them. It not only impacts how we feel towards them. It colors all our interactions. Holding on to mistrust reminds us of what might happen to us if we trust someone too much.

The pain we hold hostage in our chest develops into a mass that defines our lives and impacts our every move and thought. The hostage we didn’t want to release has become us. Our unforgiveness feeds the cancer in our hearts and extended its reach to all we love and do.

Forgiveness will set us free, no matter if the relationship is restored or not. It will allow us to move forward and kill bitterness before it can lift its ugly head. We can move on freely and recognize the blessing in our lives. We will not be held back from our destiny by crippling agony but we are free tun run the race towards our calling. We are free to be like Him.

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