There is an amusing twist in this Gospel about forgiveness. The Lord starts to preach about forgiveness, yet, He ends up by saying that those who will not forgive will be tortured. “Send him out to gnash his teeth.” Torture, as you know, is the highest form of unforgiveness.
On the other hand, perhaps there is actually no twist to the Gospel because, you see, when we do not forgive, we become tortured. But, the torture is not inflicted on us by God
When we do not forgive, the torture is not inflicted on us by the priest who hears our sins. When you do not forgive, the torture comes to and from you. You inflict the penalty on yourself. You punish yourself. You rob yourself of peace and joy.
Christians who refuse to forgive, who harbor resentment in their hearts, who harbor bitterness inside themselves, torture, punish and rob themselves of so many graces. When you do not forgive, you become very irritable. When you do not forgive, you become very grouchy. When you do not forgive, you acquire wrinkles. When you do not forgive, you are unable to sleep well.
Some years ago, I was riding in a car and a bus bumped us from behind. I was more angry than my driver. I angrily demanded payment for the damage from the bus driver, blaming him for the whole incident. The bus driver begged me and explained that he was new to the company. I did not want to hear any of his explanations until he told me the accident could cost him his job. He was worried about his family. Then, I paused for a while and said, “Sige na lang.” So we went away.
If I had insisted on refusing forgiveness to that bus driver perhaps to this day my heart would still be full of resentment. But thanks to the movement of God’s spirit, I just wrote-off what he owed me.
And then, there was inner peace. There was inner joy and I went away at peace with God, at peace with myself.
When you do not forgive, torture comes upon you and that torture does not come from God. It comes from your heart. You punish yourself, you rob yourself of peace.
All of us have people we do not like to forgive. All of us have in our hearts people who irritate us. Let us pray for such people today. Let us pray also for ourselves; that our hearts may be as forgiving as the heart of Jesus.
UNFORGIVENESS EATS US UP
Only Jesus, Always Jesus