God asks His people, “Why do you cry out over your wound, your pain that has no cure?” Then He answers, “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds” (v. 17 NIV). If there’s anything more insidious than the rage, frustration, and other negative things that come out of us and wreck our relationships, it’s the inner source from which they originate. Festering wounds from past relationships are dangerous wounds. You say, “But you don’t know how badly this person hurt me.” The point is they’re still hurting you, so how can you cleanse and heal the wound? God’s way is to tell it like it is! He doesn’t put a bandage on an infected wound—He demands that the problem be dealt with. We need to understand that He’s willing to repair the broken places in our lives; all He requires of us is to expose where those places are. Only Jesus can walk us through the barrier of time and into our wounded past. Certainly one of the most important steps to healing is to forgive from the heart—to acknowledge the wound and the anger, and then let it go. And it can be tough to do, but there can be no freedom or healing without forgiveness. Bitterness will eat you alive if you don’t forgive. It’ll wreak havoc on your present-day relationships. God will give you the grace to forgive and let it go, but you must make the choice to be cleansed of resentment by forgiving the offender. There is no other way to peace and freedom.