‘Do you want to get well?’ John 5:6 NIV
Jesus asked a sick man an unusual question: ‘Do you want to get well?’ For thirty-eight years this man’s condition had immobilized him, bought him the sympathy of others, and perhaps given him a reason to say, ‘I’m not responsible.’
But all of us are responsible for two things: our attitudes and our choices. The fact is we’ve all been hurt in some way. But if you’re still focused on it twenty years later you’re not a victim by circumstance, but by choice.
What exactly is a victim by choice? Someone who thinks negative attention is better than no attention at all! Jesus said, ‘If you are angry with someone, forgive him so that your Father in Heaven will also forgive your sins.’ (Mark 11:25 NCV) Those words presuppose someone has hurt you. They also hold you responsible for your reaction to that person. Jesus taught that if you don’t forgive, you can’t receive forgiveness yourself when you need it. Whatever others may have taken from you in the past, if you remain bitter they’ll take more from you in the future.
Maybe you’re thinking, ‘If only they’d come back and ask for forgiveness.’ Is that what you’re waiting for? Don’t waste your time! The key to happiness is in your hands, not theirs. And that key is forgiveness. Are you waiting for someone to say, ‘I forgive you’ before you can forgive yourself? What if they never do? Here’s the formula for freedom:
(1) Apologize if you need to.
(2) Make amends if you can.
(3) Forgive yourself.
(4) Move on.
Do you want to get well? These are the steps.