How to "Let it Go" When Someone Has Deeply Hurt You
In Disney’s popular movie Frozen* the hit song “Let it Go” is sung by Queen Elsa, who goes into self-enforced exile when her power to freeze things hurts someone and frightens people. She resolves to “let it go” by leaving her former life and the people she loves behind, so that she can exercise her power without restraint. Elsa consoles herself with the thought that now she does not have to bend to the wishes of others, and can do whatever she wants.
Why Was ‘Let It Go” So Popular?
"Let it Go" must have struck a chord with people who felt pressured to conform to the wishes of others, or who wanted to forget the past. The pop version, which was performed by Demi Lovato, sold over ten million copies in 2014! As of this writing, the song still gets 1.5 million searches per month on Google!
"Let it go. Let it go. Can't hold it back anymore." - Elsa in Frozen
Though it feels good at first, “letting it go” in the sense of abandoning restraints can be bad if those restraints are reasonable and prevent you from hurting yourself or others. On the other hand, "letting it go" can be liberating if there's nothing wrong with what you want to do, and people are placing unreasonable restrictions on you. Very often however, a good balance between freedom and "holding it back" is the right answer. That often requires taking the time and effort to work things out with people.
As the thoughtful screen writers of Frozen seemed to want to communicate to us, running away from unresolved relationship problems can have an unintended consequence: It separates us from the people the people we love, and can result in isolation and bitterness.
How Jesus Taught Us to “Let it Go”
Jesus taught us the best way to “let it go.” His way of "letting it go" gives us healing peace to replace the torture of bitterness. And if practiced in time by both parties, it can restore us to the ones we love.
How did Jesus teach us to "let it go"?
By forgiving those who have hurt us.
The disciple Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? As many as seven times?"
Jesus replied, "Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times!" (Matthew 18:21-22)
"Letting go" in this sense is important. Why? Because if you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you either! "But if you do not forgive," Jesus said, "neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions." (Mark 11:26)
After all, since God is willing to so graciously extend His forgiveness to us, isn't it reasonable for Him to expect us also to forgive others? Someone needs to initiate the noble act of being the first person to forgive. Why not you?
If You Find It Hard to Forgive…
Are you are finding it hard to forgive someone? Nearly everyone struggles with this at times. Sometimes, if someone has intentionally hurt you very deeply, it can be extremely difficult to forgive. But you must do it if you want nothing to stand between you and God. Only by forgiving others can we experience the full and complete joy of God's forgiveness, and know true peace!
Are you having trouble letting go of the wrongs that someone has done to you? Are you easily robbed of peace when someone hurts you? Or are you having trouble forgiving yourself?
Would you like to learn how to how walk in forgiveness every day? If so, Bruce Wilkinson’s new DVD series, 70X7: Finding Peace by Forgiving Others… And Yourself can be of immense help. You can read more about it here. Don’t you owe it to those you love, and to yourself, to find a way to walk in forgiveness?
In the end of the movie Frozen, Elsa chose to forgive and to be restored to those she loved. Your story can have a happy ending, too!
* The movie title Frozen is protected by copyright of Walt Disney Company.
Matthew 18:21-22 is quoted from the NET Bible, copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Mark 11:26 is quoted from the New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.