September 30, 2012

A man lay on his deathbed, harassed by fear because he had harbored hatred against another. He sent for the individual with whom he had had a disagreement years before; he then made overtures of peace. The two of them shook hands in friendship. But as the visitor left the room, the sick man roused himself and said, “Remember, if I get over this, the old quarrel stands.” [1]

Talk about forgiveness. Or the lack of it rather…….


“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as

in Christ God forgave you.” – says Paul the Apostle in  (Ephesians 4:32)

From the Web Site Wit and Wisdom comes this beautiful observation.


Some years ago during a visit to Yellowstone Park one writer observed that the only animal the grizzly bear would share food with was a skunk. It wasn’t that the grizzly bear wanted to share his food but rather that he chose to. With one swing of his powerful paw he could have crushed the skunk. So why did he allow the skunk to eat with him?

Because he knew the high cost of getting even.

Clever bear!

Undoubtedly he learned the hard way. Strange that we humans often aren’t as smart. Sometimes we carry grudges for years, often repressing them from conscious memory, and end up hurting ourselves more than the ones we would like to get even with. We fail to see how damaging an unforgiving spirit is.


In his book, “None of These Diseases,” Dr. S.I. McMillen says, “Medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sicknesses. Estimates vary from 60 to nearly 100 percent.”

I read about one patient who was told by his doctor. “If you don’t cut out your resentments, I may have to cut out a part of your intestinal tract.”

Fortunately the man took the doctor’s advice. He had been nursing a bitter grudge against a former business partner. He went to see this man, resolved their difference, and forgave him. When he returned to the doctor, his physical condition had cleared up.

Smart man!

The reality is what we fail to forgive keeps us bound to and by the past. Forgiveness sets the hurt person free. That’s why Jesus told Peter we need to forgive seventy times seven; that is, to keep on forgiving so we don’t become bitter and resentful.


Buddy Hackett says: “Don’t carry a grudge. While you’re carrying the grudge the other guy’s out dancing.”

Mahatma Gandhi says: “ he weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

William Arthur Ward says: “Forgiveness is a funny thing-it warms the heart and cools the sting.” And all of these are wonderful suggestions but here’s the most important one:

Jesus Christ says in Mat 6:14  “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

And so it’s our choice really and I do hope and you and I would learn to make the right choice.




[1]    G. Ray Jordan –    –James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 216.


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