DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I went through a bitter divorce about two years ago, and I’ll never get over it. I know I ought to forgive my ex-wife for all she did (including taking our children and almost all my money), but I never can. I know that’s not very Christian, but I can’t help it. Can you help me? — P.M.
DEAR P.M.: Although you don’t actually say it, I sense that you deeply wish you could get rid of your hurt and bitterness. You’re convinced you’ll never be free of them, but down inside you know you’d be better off if you could.
And you’re right about this, because bitterness and anger are like deadly poisons to our souls. They harm us not only emotionally, but also spiritually and even physically. They also cut us off from others, for no one likes to be around an angry, bitter person. They also influence our whole personality, leaving us sour and unsatisfied. The book of Job points out the tragedy of dying “in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good” (Job 21:25).
But you’re wrong when you say nothing can be done about this. No, you probably can’t overcome these feelings on your own, but God can. He knows what you’ve gone through, and he understands what it has done to you. But God loves you and doesn’t want you to be a captive to these emotions any longer. He even wants you to learn to forgive, even if that seems impossible to you now.
The key is to turn to Christ and experience his forgiveness for all your sins. By faith ask him to come into your life, and he will. Then ask him to help you forgive others the same way he has forgiven you, not because you deserve it, but simply out of his love.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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