Let It Go
Although it’s been more than 60 years since legendary author William Faulkner wrote Requiem for a Nun, the novel lives on in college classrooms and through modern political references. Especially the famous line: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
Those words symbolize human beings’ inability to let go of offenses, insults and slights, whether real or imagined. Family resentments, conflicts that expand beyond friends, or inter-regional rivalries can continue for so long people carrying the grudge can’t remember what started it.
The question is: What about you? Have you been able to let it go? Do you secretly dislike someone for saying something that upset you—and the other person doesn’t even know you’re bothered? Do you nurse anger at a parent years after your father or mother made the kinds of mistakes that you are now making? Or are you mad just because your parents wouldn’t always let you have your own way?
Sadly, if you insist on nursing old wounds, you are only hurting yourself. Medical researchers have traced such problems as heart disease, depression and ulcers to roots of anger, bitterness and resentment. And yet, one survey discovered that while more than 90 percent of respondents said it important to forgive, only about half do that.
If you are struggling to learn to forgive..to let it go, it may help to talk to God about it. His son, Jesus, came to earth to teach humans all about forgiveness. He never reacted to the criticism, second-guessing and attacks from religious leaders who felt threatened by his connection with common people. When self-righteous Pharisees criticized him for allowing a prostitute to wash his feet, he pointed out how they didn’t greet him, wash his feet, or anoint him with oil, yet she had done all three. Jesus concluded, “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much” (Luke 7:44).
Love: the essence of forgiveness. The more you love, the easier it will be.
A Challenge For You…
Read Matthew 18:21-35. What do you think about the story Jesus told to show Peter why he should forgive constantly? Is this practical? Why do you think so? Are you holding on to a grudge against someone else? Compose a few sentences about how forgiving this person would help you feel better. Then share your thoughts with a good friend or spiritual advisor about it.
Do you like these Daily Inspirations? Get them daily to your email inbox.