Retaliation or forgiveness, which is the best way to handle life’s struggles? In a perfect world we would always be able to forgive, so why can’t we have a perfect world.
Sad to say our society thrives on retaliation, if we are wronged we have to give paybacks, if someone cuts you off on the highway what is the first thing you do:
1. Give them the finger
2. Chase them down and cut them off
3. Give them the finger and cut them off
4. Say to yourself Bless their heart they must be in a hurry, or better yet ignore the situation and forgive that person for their rudeness.
Most of us would go for the first three and very few would ignore it and offer forgiveness, but how much better would this old world be if we could go for number four every once in a while.
Serious wrongs are harder to forgive, say a family who has lost a child at the hands of a stranger, a loved one murdered never to be seen again, can you forgive the person who took your loved ones life? Or do you make plans to retaliate against this person? most of us would say something like I’d kill the bastard, but if you were really in that situation could you actually lower yourself to their level and could you actually forgive?
Serious wrongs like this I have seen people actually offer forgiveness to the offender, and I have also been guilty of holding a grudge but doing this only harms you, planning revenge in your head doesn’t fix anything and acting out in a negative manner will only get you in more trouble than you need.
I know it is not easy but we have to offer forgiveness if only for ourselves and our well being, I’m not saying to let this person off the hook but to leave it in Gods hands and the authorities, retaliating only continues the cycle and will keep you feeling miserable for the rest of your life.
If you can only let it go so to say, whether you actually offer forgiveness or not you have to make peace within your heart and not dwell on what you think should happen, make peace with yourself and give it to God because doing otherwise will only make things worse.
Try to forgive those who have wronged you, most of the wrongs we remember and harp on for years really don’t matter:
He loosened the nuts on my bicycle tire and the wheel fell off while I was showing off to my friends, I like to killed myself, I was so embarrassed, I’ll always hate him for that, and just wait till I get a chance to pay him back someday (actually a true story)
Did I ever pay him back..nope, am I harping on it..Nope, well maybe, no not really but my point is, are things like this worth worrying about, things that can’t be changed we have to let go and offer forgiveness, if only in our heart.
Retaliation is dragging our society down, forgiveness for things large and small will go a long way in making our lives a bit easier. Try to forgive just one person today for something small and see how much better you feel, we can add more as the days go, just think in a years time maybe we can smile and wave with more than one finger when that next car cuts us off, “Bless their heart”