THE OCTOPUS WITH ONE THOUSAND ARMS
Written by Dr. David Abbott
Sin and resentment are two sides of the same coin. On one side of the coin, sin consists of things you have done that violate the laws of the moral universe. On the other side, resentment consists of your negative feelings toward those who have wronged you.
Sin and resentment are like a giant octopus with one thousand arms securely wrapped around your heart and mind. These unwanted visitors from another world are not polite guests. They send their tentacles into every part of your life. Nothing is safe from their grasp. They invade your relationships with your family and friends. They choke your emotions and distort your thinking. These malignant invaders come to dominate and destroy you.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot dislodge them from your mind. They have too many arms in too many places and will not let go. Your situation would be hopeless except for two things. The thousand-armed octopus of sin and resentment cannot stand up to the power of God’s forgiveness and love.
Sin and resentment make you sick if you don’t do anything about them. You don’t have the power to send these predators on their way without God’s help. This is a job for the two most powerful forces in the universe, God’s forgiveness and love.
LAW OF FORGIVENESS
God’s Law of Forgiveness makes it possible to drive these malevolent monsters out. What is this law?
The Law of Forgiveness states: The forgiving heart is the forgiven heart. This powerful law is like God’s Law of Love. What goes around comes around. The forgiveness you send to others comes multiplied back to you.
When God created you, He knew that you needed to forgive other people as much as you need to receive forgiveness from him. The reason is simple. When you have a heart full of resentment and are unwilling to forgive, you become sick inside.
It’s impossible to be free from the inner cancer of sin and resentment unless you are willing to forgive. Until you forgive others, the inner sickness will dominate you, and, if left untreated, will eventually destroy you. You need to forgive other people so you can become whole.
DON’T BLOCK THE FORGIVENESS THAT COMES FROM GOD
For you to feel the full impact of the forgiveness that comes from God, you must forgive other people first. The big lump of resentment you hold toward others blocks the forgiveness coming from God.
It’s not that God is unwilling to forgive. God’s forgiveness is always there in principle, but it’s not there in practice until you forgive others. In the world of forgiveness, what goes around comes around. If you want to have God’s forgiveness roll through your life, you must send your forgiveness to everyone else. God will unleash the power of his forgiveness the instant you forgive everyone who has done you wrong. The forgiving heart is the forgiven heart.
If you can’t forgive other people, you will block the forgiveness that comes from God, and you will never escape from the octopus of sin and resentment controlling your life.
FREE AT LAST
If your heart is hard, and you carry heavy burdens, there is only one way to lift the load. Every ounce of forgiveness you dispense to others lifts a ton off the burden you must bear. Others don’t need your forgiveness nearly as much as you need it yourself.
As the years pass, you accumulate a mountain of trash and toxic waste in your mind. Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. If you let them accumulate for a lifetime, your burden becomes unbearable.
When you forgive your enemies, your burdens instantly disappear. Forgiveness is better than magic, because it’s not a trick. It’s the real thing. It does everything it’s advertised to do. It sends the octopus of sin and resentment packing and frees your heart and mind. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.” The forgiveness you send to others makes you free at last.
When you look at people who have carried burdens of resentment and blame for fifty years, you see the price they pay for ignoring this law. They grow into bitter hardhearted people. They aren’t rugged individualists with a smile on their face. They are worn out and broken down from carrying unnecessary burdens.
ALL THE WAY OR NOT AT ALL
There is a universal need to be forgiven for the wrong things you have done. But until you forgive others, you will not find forgiveness for yourself. It’s that simple. God made the moral universe work in that fashion in order to force you to forgive other people. If He had not done it that way, you would try to get forgiveness from God without passing it on to others. You would be left with a heart full of resentment, and forgiveness would have done only half its job. God didn’t want forgiveness to go only half way. He said it must go all the way or not at all.
Many people engage in a spiritual delusion trying to get forgiveness from God while they harbor resentment toward others. This never works, because God’s forgiveness cannot do its cleansing work until you forgive the people who have done wrong to you. God will never let you do an end run around the resentment that you harbor in your heart and mind.
FORGIVENESS IS A PACKAGE DEAL
There isn’t enough room in your heart for both resentment and God’s forgiveness. It’s one or the other, and you decide which it will be. Forgiveness is a package deal. If you don’t forgive others, then your resentment will block the healing power of God’s love and forgiveness.
Jesus said it this way, “If you forgive others the wrong they have done, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, then the wrongs you have done will not be forgiven by your Father.” Jesus did not pull his punches or sugarcoat his message when he was talking about God’s forgiveness. Jesus understood the inner workings of the moral universe and how God’s love and forgiveness work inside your heart and mind. He knew that the resentful heart would block God’s forgiveness and love from doing its miraculous work. That’s why he told us we had to forgive other people if we wanted to experience the forgiveness that comes from him.
START YOUR DAY WITH FORGIVENESS
If you want to have the power of forgiveness roll through your life, you can’t just talk about forgiving other people. You must do it.
There is no better way to start your day than with forgiveness. The first thing you should do when you wake up in the morning is to forgive everyone. You simply take a minute to look inside and see if there is a seed of resentment taking root or actively growing in your heart. If you discover resentment, then forgive.
If you wipe out resentment the first thing in the morning, you will have the power of God’s forgiveness and love rolling through your life all day long. From the time you open your eyes in the morning until you close them at night, God will be doing a miracle in your heart and mind. It will be one of the smartest things you ever do.
It’s impossible to have fellowship with God when your heart is full of resentment, and sin controls your life. If you want to have a strong relationship with God, let forgiveness reign supreme. Unleash the power of God’s forgiveness by forgiving everyone. The Law of forgiveness can set you free. The forgiving heart is the forgiven heart.
Affirmation: In the world of forgiveness, what goes around comes around. The forgiveness I send to others comes multiplied back to me. If my heart is hard, and I carry heavy burdens, there is only one way to lift the load. Every ounce of forgiveness I dispense to others lifts a ton off the burden I must bear. Others don’t need my forgiveness nearly as much as I need it myself. Forgiveness washes the pollution of resentment and ill-will from my mind. It’s better than magic because it’s not a trick. It’s the real thing. Forgiveness does everything it’s advertised to do, and it’s free. I don’t need to spend thousands of dollars and years in therapy to get a fresh start. A forgiving heart is a forgiven heart. All I need to do is forgive.
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