Image by Cayusa via Flickr
Third, let go of what you have done to others! The wounds we've inflicted on others can weigh us down like a ton. The drunk-driving accident. The family shattered by divorce. The child abused in anger. The abortion following an affair. The faithful partner infected by HIV. We can't wound others and remain whole ourselves, so the 'ghost of failures past' dogs our days, fills our nights with remorse and steals our peace of mind. How do I live with the things I've done? Enter Saul of Tarsus, a man with a record. '...I violently persecuted God's church. I did my best to destroy it' (Galatians 1:13 NLT). He'd torn believers from their families leaving traumatised children watching their parents carried off to flogging, imprisonment and death. Now, a convert to Christianity and a preacher of the gospel, he meets the widows and orphans in the churches he once persecuted.
How do you handle such a situation? A crucial decision faced him. He could shoulder the guilt until it broke him and maybe even made him an addict or a suicidal wreck. Or he could roll it onto shoulders big enough to carry it and walk away free. He calls out, 'O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?' (Romans 7:24 NKJV). The answer follows instantly, 'Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord' (Romans 7:25 TLB). The result? 'Even though I was...a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy...' (1Timothy 1:13 NIV). Today that same mercy is yours for the taking. Make amends where possible, trust God to heal the hurts you've caused, and let it go!