Bible Society of South Africa

Is there still poison inside you? – 11 February 2021

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Bible text(s)

14“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.

Matthew 6:14-15GNBOpen in Bible reader

26If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. 27Don't give the Devil a chance.

Ephesians 4:26-27GNBOpen in Bible reader

At the beginning of January, Elné Erasmus (21) was bitten by a Mozambican spitting cobra on her parents’ farm in Thabazimbi. She was taking clothes out of her closet when the snake attacked.

Nine days after the incident, doctors operated on Elné to remove dead tissue on her hand and arm. Their hope was that the poison had already worked out. This was, however, not the case. Last week, already three weeks after the snake bite, doctors still had to postpone her skin graft surgery as there was still signs of poison inside her body.

Elné’s story reminded me of an old but effective strategy that the enemy uses in our lives to prevent us from enjoying a life in abundance, namely unforgiveness. When someone hurts us, it’s like the snake that bites us and releases venom inside our hearts.

If we choose to quickly forgive and acquit the offender, it is like an “antidote” being administered. The poison cannot spread further. However, if we take offense and choose in our hurt not to forgive, our anger turns into an unforgiving heart, bitterness and even hatred – which spreads like venom to all aspects of our lives, bringing destruction as far as it goes.

In Matthew 6:14-15 we read: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Also in Ephesians 4:26-27 it is written: “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Why should we not go to bed angry? Because tomorrow it will be harder to forgive and the day after that, even harder. Unforgiveness robs us from our peace and joy and ultimately a life in abundance. That is where the enemy wants to keep us, but we know the antidote for this: Forgiveness.

Who do you have a grudge towards? Your spouse, your mother-in-law, a colleague, a brother, a former best friend? Let us ask God to enable us to forgive. And let us choose to not go to bed angry. This gives the enemy the foothold he longs for. God bless.

Father God, thank You for Your forgiveness when I have transgressed. Please help me to forgive (name the person). Please cleanse my life from any “poison” the enemy wants to keep there. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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