Today, we have a guest post from my friend, Peregrino V. Taccad, Jr. You can check his blog at https://juntaccad.wordpress.com/
“Above all love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins”, 1Peter 4:8
Hatred, grudge, and resentment drain our joy and cloud our positive outlook of life. Like the moon eclipsing the sun, bitterness casts gloomy dark shadow on your world, so that your eyes glow red in wanton pessimism, circumspectly waiting for misfortune to befall on the person you hate. If nothing happens as you wish, you devise a scheme to smash him or her down to the ground. No matter how angelic he or she really is, you will only see nothing but scales, horns, fangs and tail. Hatred is warping our perception, preventing you from seeing the plain truth.
Rancor does not necessarily stem from injury done by a person against another. It may also emanate from envy, jealousy or hostile competition. Your own insecurity is killing the last glow of goodness in your character as you notoriously emerge out and draw everyone’s attention to you at the expense of your own dignity. In your resentment, your goal is to crash your enemies’ soul and drag him to the same hell you are into.
Where can acrimony lead a person? Does it really pay-off to get even? What is our weapon against resentment?
This world always teaches the opposite of godly principles. It offers the art of hostile war to attain peace. It tells you to defeat or breath threats to pacify your enemy. It is very seldom that a friend advises you to raise white flag at the height of your relational conflict. Instead, he will give you gun and tell you to go shoot him. By instinct, hurt people hurt people. Jesus defied this human tendency when at the cross He cried, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), having in mind the blatant dishonor they brought to the highest authority in the entire universe, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. In His intense agony, He could have chosen to call mighty angels to smite His oppressors, yet He took the better option. He instead displayed the nature of His Father – loving, understanding human frailties, forgiving even the most villainous of men. While the world impresses the concept of “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” into your mind, Jesus provided the exact opposite in Luke 6:27-36. He consistently taught us to forgive so that our Father in heaven will forgive us. For a bitter person, it is hard to trust this teaching. His finite human mentality is telling him that his own remedy is right. But if you follow Jesus, you will understand that true victory comes only to those who know how to love and forgive.
The famous advice that we should “Forgive and Forget” does not necessarily mean burying the memory of the offense. Wound heals but it leaves scar reminding you of the pain or struggle you went through. In Matthew 18:22 Jesus taught, one should forgive seventy times seven times for He knows that every glimpse at the scar refreshes the agony and calls for repeated forgiveness until the pain subsides. Thereafter, comes the point of forgetting, not the offense but the spirit of vengeance and hostility. Giving in to the compulsion to get-even will drive you deeper into the mire of animosity and worst, results to violence and greater damage to relationship. Without putting an end to the conflict, it will burn most of your quality time. Life is too short to consume it into worthless fights. Do not allow hatred to ruin your entire life. Love is the most powerful weapon that breaks hostility. It is the strongest medicine that mends wounded heart. Peter wrote in his first epistle, “Above all love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins”, 1 Peter 4:8. Forgiveness is the fruit of love. You cannot give forgive unless you love.
In your moment of reflection, think about the people who once brought you pain, those whom you hate because you are insecure, and those you consider competitors. Think about how Christ forgave those who persecuted Him because He loved them so much. Would you not imitate His heart? Choose to love and forgive, so that the burden you carry will eventually be unloaded from your heart. It is always nice to wake up every morning seeing the glorious colors of God’s creation on the people you once hated. Let the warm morning rays of forgiveness fall afresh on your face and enjoy every moment of your life.
Nothing is more refreshing than receiving gratuitous pardon from someone whom you offended in the past. Much more sigh of relief is being breath out by him who had just exonerated his offender.
You can follow Jun on his blog at: https://juntaccad.wordpress.com/