Don Henley's song is a classic message of forgiveness and how it affects the soul, If you have time go to Youtube or google Heart Of The Matter and take a listen. The classic line is "But I think it's about forgiveness, forgiveness, even if you don't love me anymore".
How many times have we hurt someone, or been hurt ourselves? Crushing experiences are the worst, and I can truly say I was on the distributing side of many hurts to my family and friends. This compelling line comes from the Life Recovery Bible: Few things can make us feel crazier than expecting something from someone who has nothing to give.
In my addiction I was a rolling hurt locker, rolling over everyone to selfishly have my own needs met. I had nothing to give and took everything. Especially my first family of a wife and three kids that I hurt badly. In succeeding years the pain I felt was enormous until I met the grace of God and understood that other resentments I had in my life in other areas propelled my addiction and self-seeking.
Don Henley said "You better put it all behind you, baby, 'cause life goes on. You keep carrying on that anger, it'll eat you up inside, baby". Jesus said "And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father, also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses".
The war ate me up inside, my childhood ate me up inside, the rejection by a careless mother of my girlfriend ate me up inside, an earthly father who left us ate me up inside. But then I encountered Jesus experiencing his healing and forgiving powers, and gradually all those resentments and anger fell away, clearing me to forgive myself, to forgive others, and ask for forgiveness from those I hurt.
And now, as another scripture says that once we forgive, "there is nothing in them to make them stumble'. The way is clear, the path is paved through the cross of forgiveness, and the time is now to live and love. Henley says "There are people in your life who have come and gone, they let you down, they hurt your pride".
I know this Don, they have, and I have too, but that Jesus, he has never let me down, he has only lifted me up from an unhappy eaten up with anger life to one of great joy! That's the real Heart Of The Matter!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.