You can’t take it with you.
We’ve all heard it, we all know it, and sometimes we even remember to take it seriously. But there are things aside from money and possessions that we can carry all the way to the grave, and those things will weigh us down, drag us down, bend us and break us, until we don’t even realize we are no longer even walking upright. I want you to think of the grudge you’re holding—the person you haven’t been able to forgive—and fill this out with them in mind.
I know you don’t want to forgive. You think that, by not forgiving them, you have some sort of power over them. But the opposite is true.
You are giving that power away by carrying this weight around.
Vocalizing it will give it perspective—it won’t seem as big of a deal once you say it out loud. And yes, I know that’s scary too. Just try it when you’re by yourself—nobody else needs to know.
Filling out the blanks below won’t make it all go away and be OK, but it’s a start.
You are forgiven. Your debt of sin has been paid in full. So stop carrying around the bank book. And stop carrying around everyone else’s, too. Erase every mark. Burn every ledger.
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).
Let go of your grudges. Bridge the gap of your separations. Reach out with forgiveness. Trust God to heal you both.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:12–15).
A Fillable Prayer
Heavenly Father, I confess that I have not forgiven _____________.
The truth is, I want to forgive ____________ but I just can’t. Or maybe I don’t really want to forgive ____________ at all.
The thing(s) _____________ has said and done are just too many and too hurtful for me to let go of. And, if I’m being really honest, I don’t believe _____________ deserves my forgiveness. ____________ has never apologized or even admitted anything, let alone asked for forgiveness!
I know You say we should forgive our enemies, and I know You died to forgive even _____________. I should be ashamed of my unwillingness to forgive, but I just don’t understand how anyone can act the way _____________ has acted toward me.
But if I am being really, really honest, I have to admit that I am not innocent when it comes to _____________.
I have looked on _____________ with hate. I have gossiped about _____________. I have chosen to see everything _____________ does in the absolute worst light.
And back when things first went wrong, I didn’t do all I could to make things right, either. I could have _____________ more. I could have _____________ less. If I hadn’t _____________ then maybe things would have turned out better. And even if changing my behavior had changed absolutely nothing with the way _____________ treated me… it does not change the fact that I should have behaved better myself.
I am truly sorry, Lord, for the way I have acted. I am truly sorry, Lord, for not forgiving as I have been forgiven. I am truly sorry, Lord, for being too angry to let go of old hurt, too scared to let go of my pride, and too arrogant to let go of this grudge I have held onto for so long.
Help me, Holy Spirit, to let it all go. Teach me, Lord Jesus, to forgive. Open my eyes, Father, to see _____________ as You see _____________.
Give me the courage, O God, to see my enemy as my brother/sister.
I ask this in the name of Him who died for me and for _____________. Amen.
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