I confess It was me. This is not my blood. I don’t know how things got to this point. When did I stray from the path?
They lied about me; they harmed my family and me. What else could I do?!
As hatred and bitterness began to grow in my heart, I began to hunger for vengeance. I woke up early to consider their demise. I stayed up late begging God to punish them. I wanted them to pay for what they had done.
All the time cancer was growing in me. I was becoming the very person they accused me of being.
A Spirit of Murder has taken hold of me as I surrender my heart to self-righteous judgment. I know it is wrong, but it feels good to be angry right now. I convince myself that this is a righteous anger, but deep down, I know the opposite to be true.
Then this morning I found myself in a strange place. I don’t know how I got here. There is blood on my hands. The blood of my enemies. It is the very thing my heart desired, but now I’m not so sure.
As I look around there is no body, there appears to be no evidence of my crime. But as I continue to take stock of the situation I realize, I am injured. Wait! This IS my blood after all! As I begin to inspect my flesh, I find that I am covered with large festering wounds and from the pain I am experiencing, it seems that this infection is inside of me as well.
I think I may have killed myself.
Because of my bitterness, I killed my neighbor in my heart, but as I let bitterness lead to anger, I have murdered everything good within me. The Teacher gave me these good things as a gift. Now, I can’t even think straight.
Long ago, my teacher warned me that if I let anger reside in my heart, I would be subject to judgment and even guilty of murder. I never thought it would go this far, is that what is happening?!
As I feel life slipping away, I do the only thing I know to do. I cry out to God. I ask him to cure my infection and spare my life. He was the Teacher that warned me about this terrible sickness. Maybe now he will have mercy on me.
I feel his presence surround me. I hear his words of love and mercy. “Child, why have you done this to yourself? I warned you to stay away from bitterness and anger.”
“Please help me! Heal me of these wounds, I don’t want to be consumed by this,” I say.
“Forgive,” he responded.
“But, do you know what they did, Lord? They don’t deserve forgiveness.”
“Forgive,” he repeated
“I don’t want to. It’s not fair.”
“If you don’t forgive. You will die.” He told me.
As I considered my situation, I battled with my desire for revenge and vengeance.
I realized that my anger was not hurting the one who harmed me. It was only killing me. Killing me slowly and painfully. I have secretly committed crimes against others, and I have was forgiven of those things. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to release this and forgive.
I remember the Teacher saying that I would be forgiven with the same measure that I have forgiven others. Maybe…
As I released all my anger and bitterness, I accepted those who harmed me as broken and hurting people just like me. I saw the Teacher smile. In that moment, he was proud because in forgiving those who didn’t deserve forgiveness, I had become more like Him.
Please learn from my story, don’t harbor bitterness and anger in your hearts. If you truly want to be like Jesus, you will forgive. It is, in fact, what he is known for.