Unforgiveness does its work slowly. It’s almost like mold behind a wall, you may not notice it this day or the next day, but eventually you will experience its harmful effects.
1. We increasingly limit the intimacy of our relationship.
Unforgiveness is like a wall that you are building a brick at a time, a week at a time, and over a significant period of time the wall gets very thick and very high in the sense that intimacy in your relationship is lost.
2. We carry the ever-exhausting weight of bitterness.
Out of all the consequences of being bitter, the most debilitating is that we are worn out by it. The more we are bitter the more it makes us tired in our heart. It eventually makes us tired in our body as well. Bitter people are exhausted people because it is a weight to carry.
3. We model for our children a life of gracelessness.
Those little eyes and hearts are watching us to see what we do when we are hurt and have had something done to us that was clearly wrong. When they see that we respond with unforgiveness, distance, coldness, and bitterness, what we are programming in their little hearts is that when people hurt them, they need to make the person pay for it and they should refuse to forgive. Therefore, they grow up to be unforgiving adults and continue the sad cycle in their own relationships.
4. We deceive ourselves with a false sense of superiority.
Unforgiveness and bitterness is one of those deceiving emotions that at first makes you feel empowered that you are strong and that you are in control because you feel that you have drawn a line and have shown just how tough you are, thus giving you a false sense of superiority to your spouse. Control and unforgiveness never gives us moral authority in someone else’s life and it never earns us respect. It never earns us the kind of real relationship power we desire, which only comes from love, humility and forgiveness.
Robert “Bob” Moeller, President Of Marriage Vine, Inc.
Worthington E.L., Jr (2005). Handbook of Forgiveness. New York: Brunner-Routledge.
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About the Author: Relationship Expert, Janie Lacy, LMHC, NCC offers expert advice to Local and National TV News, Relationship Websites and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Janie has a relational approach and a unique ability to connect with individuals. Drawing upon her broad range of experience in private practice, not-for-profit organizations, hospitality and the medical industry, she has helped countless people in many arenas of life. She offers keen insight on all aspects of relationships – family, marriage, parenting, dating, and personal growth. Connect with Janie onFacebook or Twitter.