The prayer we have come to call the “Lord’s Prayer” contains this thought-provoking phrase: “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Matthew 6:12, McCord.)
Asking God to forgive us as we forgive others is a sobering proposition!
God knows more about us than we know about ourselves. He understands that we must rely upon His grace and forgiveness for salvation. He also knows that our mental, emotional, and spiritual health is directly linked to our willingness to forgive.
Bitterness, resentment, and a stubborn refusal to forgive those who injure us will backfire every time, compounding our level of misery. I once heard of an epitaph engraved upon the headstone of an unkempt, long-forgotten grave which sadly read, “Died of Grudgitis.”
I wonder how many thousands – millions? – of death certificates might correctly list “grudgitis” as at least a contributing cause of death? Have you ever heard someone snarl, through clenched teeth, “I’ll get even with them if it is the last thing I ever do.”
It often is.
Several years ago, a New York physician estimated that seventy percent of his patients manifested resentment in their attitudes which he believed was directly tied to their medical problems. He observed, “Ill will and grudges help to make people sick. Forgiveness will do more toward getting them well than medicine.”
Do yourself a favor. Forgive.