Read this little story, and it made me think…
Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never even heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”
Luis Palau, Experiencing God’s Forgiveness, Multnomah Press, 1985
Jesus commands us to forgive, but then what? Matthew 6:14
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you 15 but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Here it is Christmas again, and families are getting together again. There are those that are ‘stuck like chuck’ in their traditions and who would hold you emotionally hostage to your past failures, or the brutality of what they have been allowed to do to you.
Act differently, and refuse to lower yourself to their level, no matter what they do.
It’s going to take the power of God to do…
‘Father, as I gather with family and friends this holiday, I refuse to be defined by my past, or theirs. I choose to forgive and forget their wrongs, and I choose to receive Your grace and strength, to not allow them to drag me down into their mess and guilt trips. I ask this, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”
In his book. Lee: The Last Years, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, “Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it.” It is better to forgive the injustices of the past than to allow them to remain, let bitterness take root and poison the rest of our life.