A bitter attitude poisons us from within. It robs us of peace and wellbeing and turns life sour. Forgiveness can neutralize bitterness. It removes resentment and anger and replaces them with compassion for the weaknesses of others. It is based in a healthy understanding of our own failures as well as our perceived hurts; it keeps life in balance. The goal of forgiveness is reconciliation. It can be the key to the healing of relationships and ultimately to the healing of our society.
Help me, O God, to be both grateful and forgiving.
How do I look at life? Is my attitude one of bitterness for any reason? How can I forgive myself and others?
I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.
Luke 7:36 -50
The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ ” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.
Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.
We cannot embrace God’s forgiveness if we are so busy clinging to past wounds and nursing old grudges.
How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
Lewis B. Smedes
Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bitterness is cancer – it eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure.