Make The Choice To Not Harbor Ill Will
by Olga Hermans
“When we harbor ill will, it’s like letting that person rent space in our brain, but we pay the rent.” When someone hurt you and even deeply hurts you, quite often it leaves you with a feeling that they owe you something. You start to harbor ill will against that person; you have feelings of anger, hatred, lack of sympathy, bitterness, antipathy, coldness. That is what it means when we harbor ill will towards somebody.
We can have a whole list of emotions coming up on the inside of us and be counting up all the things what the other person did to us and on and on! You know, most of the time, the people who hurt you don’t even realize what they have done to you and how much they hurt you.
Let me ask you something. Do you really think other people are planning their life around hurting you? You probably know the answer, isn’t it? The truth is very seldom does someone intentionally set out to hurt another person. Yes, sometimes they do, but that is usually not the case. In normal situations people don’t want to do that.
When the situation occurs and people hurt you because they are insensitive, rude, or angry. You know, hurt people hurt people; I’s so true that hurting people, hurt people. If you allow this to make you so mad that your evenings at home are spent poaching over the situation, then you have allowed yourself to accept the devil’s bait and you give the devil a heyday.
While you’re miserable and upset, the person who has hurt you might be watching a movie having a good time and not even thinking about you. They may even be enjoying a piece of strawberry pie with whipped crème on it while you are at home taking Rolaids and trying to keep the pain in your stomach under control. You must understand that letting go of hurts in your life has no bearing on the other person. It’s something you must do with yourself.
You know, my own sister went through a divorce; she accused her husband saying, “You owe me.” Although he had hurt her for fifteen years, it was not within his power to give those years back. When somebody owes you a debt that they cannot pay, the only thing you can do is forgive the debt because it’s not within human power to change the past.
I know another woman, who actually loved hated her father very much. But there were two sisters in the family and she always felt that her father loved the other sister much more. At a younger age she started to build ill will against her father and after a while she became anorexia. The story is more complex than I can tell you here of course, but she wanted to have her father’s full attention and felt that “he owed her”. The father died; her anorexia took completely over because she wasn’t able to forgive and let the past be the past.
There are many sad stories like these; you probably know some yourself. It comes down to making the right choice for you and for others. The power of choice is given to us. Forgiveness means to absolve from payment or cancel a debt. If you have been seriously hurt, you might as well make the choice to forgive, cancel the debt. Maybe read a book and gain some knowledge on how to forgive someone,because there’s nothing you can do to change the past. How long do you plan to live with the pain in your heart? Although you can’t change the past, you can make a choice to change your response to it.
Cancel the debt and be free.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)