Corrie ten Boom's memorable quote not only carries a powerful message of itself, but it also urges us to think about what happens when we do not forgive. An unforgiving attitude invariably harms us far more than the person we are having difficulty forgiving.
Ten Boom’s words remind us that failure to forgive heaps many curses upon our own heads – resentment, hatred, and bitterness are only some of them. Perceptively, ten Boom added selfishness to that list, because failure to forgive another is to selfishly deny another what we ourselves have been given.
Refusing to forgive someone or delaying forgiving them “till the hurt subsides” are equal mistakes. Invariably, the longer we leave something unforgiven, the less likely we are to ever forgive it. Unforgiveness becomes a prison from which we cannot escape and delaying granting forgiveness is tantamount to throwing away the key. As has been so truly said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.”
*On the topic of forgiveness, see also our blog post on this site: "What Forgiving and Forgetting Really Means" and, on our sister site: "The Second Step of Forgiveness."