I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?—Matthew 18:32-33
If we are to maintain spiritual freshness, we must determine to forgive everyone who hurts us and refuse to nurse a grudge. Grudges become glooms.
A few years after World War II, a Christian Japanese boy at a public speaking contest announced that his subject would be “The Sacredness of Work.” Some people smiled at his choice, but when they heard his story, their smiles turned to tears. His parents and home were burned to ashes in the atomic bomb explosion at Nagasaki. He was the eldest of three surviving children, and together they knelt in the ashes of their home and prayed to know what to do. One of them said: “I know—we can work.” So they set to work, gathering bits of tin and boards, and soon they had built a little hut in which to live. They could have nursed their grudge and become gloomy; instead they forgave, forgot, and went to work.
No one who wants to maintain spiritual freshness can afford to nurse a grudge. It will poison both spirit and body. As one doctor put it: “Grudges put the whole physical and mental system on a war basis instead of on a peace basis.”
Walter Alvarez, who is both a medical doctor and counselor, says: “I often tell patients they cannot afford to carry grudges or maintain hates. Such things can make them ill and tire them out. I once saw a man kill himself inch by inch, simply by thinking of nothing but hatred for a relative who had sued him. Within a year or two he was dead.” A grudge or a resentment is sand in the machinery of living.
O Father, teach me how to get the splinters of resentment out of my soul and also out of my body. Help me to decide that it is the oil of love, not the sand of resentments, that shall go into the machinery of my life day by day. Amen.
Eph 4:21-32; Rm 3:14; Heb 12:15
What should not come out of our mouths?
What are we to do?