I heard a good story the other day about General Robert E. Lee. After the Civil War was over, he visited a woman in Kentucky. (“Hero of a Lost Cause,” by Charles Flood)
She asked him to go outside to see a burned out trunk of a grand old tree in front of her house. She pointed to the stump and cried. She bitterly told the general that its limbs and its trunk were completely destroyed by Union soldiers. She then looked to him for some word condemning the North.
He was quiet for a minute. He then said, “Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it.” Those are powerful words from a wise man. Cut it down, my dear madam, and forget it. Life is too short to be bitter.
Anne Lamott is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. She said it like this, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”
In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, we find these ancient words, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18) Jesus echoed this in the Gospels: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Mark 12:31)
I sure want that to be true in my life. What about you?