How could my sister, my childhood partner in crime, my giggle buddy, and my best friend do this to me? I felt abandoned and hurt. As a result, bitterness brooded over me like a dark cloud. Eventually, she returned to our family; but I found it hard to be happy about that because I was so hurt by her past actions and was afraid she would abandon me again.
Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:31–32 (NRSV)
Forgiveness and bitterness are polar opposites; and yet, they are both a choice. Deep in my heart, the Lord whispered, “How many times have you abandoned me? How many times have I welcomed you back with a warm smile and open arms?” I began to pray that God would turn my heart toward my sister. Slowly and painfully the Lord answered my prayer, and I chose forgiveness.
WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE? Bitterness is the easy way out, but the path of bitterness means choosing to carry the burden for the rest of your life. Choosing forgiveness, on the other hand, means choosing freedom. Thank the Lord, who does not choose the easy way out when we rebel, but continues to love and forgive—and calls us to do the same.