Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My aunt Constance emailed me this morning. How pertinent! Hatred is a venom that we ingest, hoping and expecting it will harm someone else. The words "I will never forgive" mean "I will allow this event to eat me alive for the rest of my life".

“Forgive whatever grievances you may have.” Col 3:13 NIV

Forgive them, and let it go

We talk about grudges the way we talk about babies. You can hold a grudge, carry a grudge, bear a grudge, or nurse a grudge. The trouble is, when you nurse something you feed it, make it grow, and pretty soon it’s full grown. Are you carrying a grudge? Why? It doesn’t make sense. Why would you pick up something each day that weighs you down and carry it around with you? “But they hurt me.” Yes, but by carrying a grudge you enable them to keep hurting you. Don’t do that to yourself!

We know we’re supposed to forgive other people, but sometimes forgiving feels like we are giving up something. One of Lincoln’s stories was about a man on his sickbed who had been told by the doctor that he didn’t have much time to live. He summoned an old friend named Brown with whom he’d quarreled bitterly. They hadn’t spoken for years. The man talked of how he was going to die soon, of how their petty differences looked in the face of death, and asked if they might be reconciled. The scene moved everyone in the room to tears. Brown clasped the dying man’s hands, embraced him, and turned to walk out of the room, a shattered man. Suddenly the man on the sickbed, having one final thought, raised himself up on one elbow and spoke for the last time: “But see here, Brown; if I recover, the old grudge still stands.” This story makes us smile and think, “How foolish!” But if you are carrying a grudge, are you any different?