“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell,” Matthew 5:30 NKJV
I know a gentleman who suffered over a year with an infection in his lower leg. He was on all kinds of oral medications, IV medications and various wound treatments in an effort to get well. During this treatment, side effects from his medications made him ill. He never felt well and complained often about how his entire body and not just his leg suffered. His blood was monitored often to make sure the medications that were used to treat the infection did not harm his vital organs. His doctors were constantly on alert to make sure his infection had not spread. The entire ordeal left him weak and miserable daily.
Finally, his doctors decided the treatment he was receiving was not enough to kill the infection or keep it from spreading. In fact, his medical team was forced to amputate his lower leg. If his infected leg remained, the bacteria would spread throughout his body and kill him.
About a month after his surgery, I asked him how he was feeling. He declared, “I haven’t felt this good in years.” He was no longer relegated to taking an arsenal of medications that left him feeling poorly. His infected lower leg had been removed but he was now very mobile with his new prosthesis. He was actually moving around better than he had before the amputation.
He now felt healthy, was happy and had a positive outlook on life.
Likewise, it is necessary that we make certain “cuts” in our own lives that would leave us better. Instead of making a clean break from anger, guilt, regret, disappointment and un-forgiveness we sometimes “nurse” these things instead. We often try to repair our feelings and emotions instead of cutting them off all together. Some people are haunted years later by mistakes God has forgiven decades earlier. They allow guilt or bitterness to remain, infecting them and robbing them of a better quality of life. There is no freedom in “forgiveness” when you insist on making your offender acknowledge the offense time and time again. An unforgiving spirit does very little to the offending person in comparison to the damage it wrecks on the person who refuses to forgive.
Forgiveness is often hard. However living with unforgiveness is much harder.
Anger, bitterness, guilt, and spite can be deadly. They often cause both mental anguish and physical decay. Worse of all is those suffering under these afflictions don’t recognize the toil these toxic characteristics take on themselves and the people around them!
Bitterness drains. Peace sustains.
Is there anything you need to cut away today?