That aside, I've been thinking about how life is too short to carry a grudge.
My first real experience with this was with a former boyfriend. Actually, he was the one I mentioned in my post about public speaking. While we were together he did some awful things to me, and eventually I broke up with him. He threatened to call my workplace, where I was fairly new, and tell lies about me. He stalked me for a while. He called me incessantly. When a police officer came to my apartment to take an incident report, the phone rang. The officer answered it and told my ex to stop calling. After that he only called me at work.
Finally I got a restraining order.
The last time we were face to face was in a small room adjacent to the courtroom. All I remember is that he demanded I return a gift that he'd given me. (I'd anticipated that and had it with me.) Oh, and that a court official questioned him because he had several hundred dollars cash in his pocket. (He was on his way to purchase a plane ticket.)
It wasn't the best chapter of my story.
At first I was resentful. The experience was inconvenient at best, frightening at worst. But after a while I realized that carrying a grudge was taking too much of my energy, and what good was it doing me? It reminds me of Erma Bombeck's saying about worry: "Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere."
The decision to let it go was freeing. He no longer occupied real estate in my head. I no longer carried the burden of anger or bitterness.
Many years later, after I was saved by the Lord's grace, I learned about forgiveness. God had forgiven me so much, how could I not forgive another person? For as Matthew writes,
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."Who do you need to forgive? What burden do you need to release?
photo credit: Flickr user Angelo DeSantis (Atlas)
photo credit: Flickr user symphony of love via photopin cc (Forgiveness)