Brian Jones opens Getting Rid of the Gorilla: Confessions on the Struggle to Forgive with this quote on forgiveness by C. S. Lewis (Mere Christianity): “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” In other words, while we all know what Jesus said about forgiveness, it is quite another matter to practice what we preach.
The author believes that an unforgiving heart starts when pain chooses us. The longer the pain sits there, the more it multiplies and takes on a life of its own. We need to find a way to release those hurts.
Brian summarizes: “According to Jesus, regardless of the magnitude of the hurts we receive at the hands of others, if we don’t find a way to release and pardon the people who hurt us, our pain and anger settle at the bottom of our souls. Then without our knowing it, they find each other and begin to grow.”
We may think we have the ability to tame our pain and anger, to keep them safely tucked away. But we can’t. As the author says, we need to get rid of the gorilla (the author’s metaphor for a heart of unforgiveness).