Love Slows Down

Day 5 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Let It Go 


I took a team rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon a few years back. When we started the river was crystal clear. But two miles into the trip, a stream of muddy water emptied into our nice, clean river. In no time, the entire river was brown and milky, and it stayed that way for the rest of the six-day trip. That one tiny stream miles upriver turned the crystal clear Colorado River into a cloudy mess for miles. 


King Solomon said, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23) A pure heart leads to pure love. But if we aren’t careful, offense, betrayal, disappointment, or failure can taint the pure waters of our hearts and leave us jaded and cynical. The longer we hold on to the offenses, the more tainted the waters will be. We have to make sure we keep our heart pure of anything that could taint it.


When I lead teams into the wilderness one of the biggest challenges to keeping the team healthy is making sure we have clean drinking water. I always bring a really expensive, top-of-the-line water purification filter with us. It removes pretty much anything in the water that can harm you. Every night the team sits around in a circle and we take turns pumping pure water for the next day.


I think we need to do a similar process every day in our lives. We need to spend time each day filtering out those little offenses that can build up and taint the clear, flowing streams of our heart.



Forgiveness is the filter that clears out the hurt and anger in your heart. It makes the water clear again. 


It’s hard to let it go and forgive when someone has hurt us or mistreated us. The sense of justice within us says it's just not right that they hurt us. But forgiveness is a decision we make to release the other person from what they did—whether they confess or not. That’s what Jesus did. He forgave us before we even knew we needed it. He asks us to do the same. 


The good news is, forgiveness actually sets you free. It’s been said that forgiveness is letting the prisoner free and then realizing you were the one behind bars. Forgiveness helps you release anger and resentment. If you really want to live in God’s love, choose to let go of hurt and anger and open your hands to receive His grace to forgive.