Are you lugging around a sack of unforgiveness?
A theology class normally didn’t involve vegetables, but today would be different. The professor asked each student to bring in a clear plastic bag full of potatoes, and it couldn’t be a sandwich bag. He told everyone to think of people they were unwilling to forgive, and then write the names of these people on their potatoes.
“I want you to carry your potatoes around wherever you go this week,” the teacher explained. “Put the sack by your desk at school, on the couch next to you when you watch TV, and beside your bed at night.”
Everyone in the class laughed over this ridiculous exercise, and during the first couple of days they felt some embarrassment whenever they were asked about the potatoes. The sacks soon became cumbersome, and a nuisance. Worse, the potatoes began to deteriorate into a nasty-smelling slime.
By the end of the week each student had learned the powerful lesson that you can’t carry unforgiveness for too long before it destroys you. One student commented that in a way it is like drinking poison and hoping for the other person to die.
In Matthew 6:14, Jesus teaches us – “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you forgive not men their trespasses neither will your heavenly Father forgive you.”
Forgiveness is a gift we give to someone else, but when we give it, we are the real beneficiaries.