Once a week, I would go to a local college to pass out Gospel Tracts. I have a soft spot for college students, because someone gave me a Gospel Tract while I was in college and I was gloriously saved.
While I was passing out Gospel Tracts at a local college, there were a crew of workers tearing down some concrete and brick areas. An elderly man approached me, stooped over, carrying a sack of bricks on his back.
“Are you giving out something for free?” he asked me.
Smiling, I held out the Gospel Tract to him. “Yes, I am. This booklet explains how we can get the free gift of salvation by trusting in Jesus alone to save us.”
The burdened man negatively replied, “I get enough religion at my church” and continued on his way.
I watched this man slowly walk off, slumped over from the heavy burden of bricks on his back. I felt sad for him. He was like a “picture” of the lost person with a heavy burden of sin. He would not get freed from his burden by accepting the free gift of salvation from Jesus.
I also thought he was a picture of the Christian lady who daily looks for bricks to place in her sack to carry on her back. The bricks on her back start pulling her down because they are too heavy for her to carry. They even start taking a toll on her health.
Engraved on each brick is something different:
unforgiving heart …
and even names of people who have hurt her.
She will then take the bag of bricks down Negative Memory Lane with her.
The lady stoops over even more as she takes a brick out of the bag and stares at it while turning it over and over, again and again. She is turning it over reliving the deep hurt. She takes out another and then another until she is miserable from turning the concrete bricks over and over. From turning the bricks over and rehashing the hurts, instead of her hands getting calloused, her heart is becoming calloused. She does not realize what is happening to her as she begins hurting those closest to her because of her bitterness. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness… Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14,15)
Every person gets hurt by others. That is part of life. This lady will never have peace and rest under the heavy load she is carrying, unless she makes a decision. The engraved concrete bricks must go. She must not keep looking at the concrete bricks and turning them over and over again. She cannot afford to rehash hurts. She must let the Lord take the concrete bricks from her. She must not keep walking down Negative Memory Lane.
Forgiveness Lane is peace, rest, beauty and joy. If Jesus did not hold a grudge against me, why should I hold a grudge against another?
Turn From: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)
Turn To: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
We must ask Jesus to give us strength to forgive those who have hurt us in the past. How often should we forgive others?
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21,22
In other words, we must continually forgive. When those negative thoughts come, we must continue giving the bricks to Jesus and pray for those who have hurt us. A miracle happens when we pray for our enemies. God replaces our bitterness with mercy. Those people who have hurt us, have been deeply hurt themselves. Hurt people hurt people. God will give us mercy for them, because of their hurt they have had in their lives.
With those bricks they have thrown at you, Jesus will take the bricks and use them to build a better you. Walk down Forgiveness Lane with Jesus and see the goodness of the LORD!
Dear Lord, the hurt hurts so much. Change my heart, oh Lord and make it tender and compassionate towards the person who hurt me. I know the person who hurt me is hurting themselves. I pray for you to bless their lives. Today, let me think on what is good and pure and not on hurts. Thank You, Lord for cleansing my mind. Thank You for taking the bitterness away and replacing it with forgiveness. You forgave me and You miraculously live in me. Your Power within gives me the strength to forgive others. I praise You for taking my hand and helping me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen~