During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.
Not too long ago, a long-time acquaintance of mine did something really hurtful toward me. It wasn’t one of those situations where someone inadvertently hurt you; this was a clear personal attack on me by someone whom I considered to be my friend.
It was upsetting and painful and I wanted to wallow in self-pity and anger over her actions. Truthfully, for a few days, I did. But as I sat and sulked over the wounds this person had caused in my heart, I began to realize this was accomplishing nothing good.
What she did was wrong, there’s no denying that. But if I respond in anger and develop a long-term bitter spirit toward her, I’m just as wrong.
Her actions toward me are her responsibility. But my response to her is my responsibility. I can’t change what she did, but I can choose to forgive.
Bitterness and anger toward someone will never fix a problem. It will only hurt us — and probably the other person, too.
Forgiveness is a choice we can make — regardless of whether the other party asks for forgiveness or admits they are wrong. It’s never an easy choice, but it’s always the right choice.
Even though I was angry about this situation, in my heart of hearts, I wanted to choose forgiveness. So I started refusing to allow those upset thoughts to fester in my mind. Instead, I chose to pray for this woman and continually ask God to help me love and forgive her.
Amazingly enough, as I changed my attitude toward the situation, I started to really love this woman and be able to overlook what she had done. In fact, within a few days, I decided I wanted to back up my forgiveness with tangible actions.
So, I thought about something I could do to bless this woman and then I made some things for her, bought a few things I knew she would appreciate, wrote a note, and delivered the goodies to her. Can I just tell you that this felt so very good? After I delivered the gifts to her, I just couldn’t help but smile.
Yes, forgiveness is so much better than bitterness!