When you hear the words, “let it go”, it would not be surprising to learn the popular Disney ballad from the animated film, Frozen, comes to mind. The song, “Let it Go” became one of the top 10 songs of 2014 and quickly following its release, had children of all ages belting out this catchy tune at the top of their lungs.
Frozen tells the tale of a fictional character, Elsa, who is born with magical powers of ice and snow. When faced with her own emotions of anxiety, stress and anger, she loses control of her powers and unknowingly thrusts her kingdom into eternal winter and unintentionally freezes her sister’s heart. To avoid further harm, Elsa creates an ice palace where she isolates herself away from all others. But the story does not end here. By the time the story unfolds, Elsa learns that the harm she has caused is only undone when she shows love and compassion for others.
As I thought about this story, I began to reflect on how too often, unbeknownst to us, we find ourselves battling with our own frozen or hardened hearts. A frozen heart may be the result of a betrayed friendship, a wrongful accusation, wounds from past abuse, or any other occurrence that has allowed bitterness to take root in our heart.
To protect ourselves from further injury, just like Elsa, we create a kingdom of isolation. Isn’t that just what the devil wants us to do? He wants us to believe that if we put up walls, keep score of the wrongs done to us, or even refuse to forgive others, we can protect ourselves from being hurt again. He encourages us to rehearse our negative thoughts until they crystalize like an icy blast that continues to freeze and harden the walls of our hearts. Instead of protecting us, this isolation can lead to loneliness, misery, regret, and grief.
Forgiving others who have hurt or wronged us may seem like an insurmountable task. In fact, it can be one of the hardest things we will ever do. It is also one of the most freeing. Lewis Smedes once wrote that “to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
In Ephesians 4:31, Paul instructs us to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
In other words, Paul is saying…“Let it go!”
Scripture goes on to say, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.”
Forgiveness is not the same things as having a lack of boundaries or even restoring trust in a relationship.
Forgiveness means giving up the right to punish the other person.
Instead of appointing ourselves as both the judge and jury that convicts the one who has harmed us, we allow God to melt our hearts and let Him be the ultimate authority.
In Frozen, Elsa sings of freedom in “letting it go”. While this song is intended to be an “anthem about acceptance”, I would like to offer another perspective.
When we choose to let go of the pain and hurtful memories of those who have harmed us, we too, can sense a freedom to move forward. No more keeping score.
If you don’t know where to begin with releasing the hurts and offenses from your past, begin by being honest with our loving, Heavenly Father. He sees, knows, and understands your pain. Ask Him to help you move forward by giving you His heart and eyes of compassion for others.
It begins with a decision…
Here’s to taking that first step!
Mark 11:25 says, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”