Writing al letter from prison to Philemon, the Apostle Paul urged the church that met in his home to forgive a runaway slave. Here is how he worded it if you have not read the account:
I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
Resentments against others hold us back from loving ourselves and others, like the resentments parents may have to their children who become addicts or alcoholics. They drain us and our emotions. Those resentments don't punish the other person, they punish us. They become barriers to our enjoyment of the life God has given us to freely live. They become chains around our heart that lock up our ability to love.
Paul was saying you may have something against this man but he has changed from useless to useful and in that regard think of how many that have hurt us who have turned their lives around as well. In effect Christ cleaned our slate from our past, and our job after that cleansing is to do the same for others even though that may be the most difficult thing we will ever have to do.
But never as difficult as what he did on that cross - perspective is the prescription for healing!
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.