Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An attitude of forgiveness

Yesterday my blog was about Dr. Martin Luther King and dreams. Today I want to shine a light on one of his quotes: "Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude."

Forgiveness isn't always easy. But it is so powerful—and mostly so for the forgiver. When you and I forgive others, we are the ones released from the weight and burden of hatred and anger. As Booker T. Washington put it, "I will allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him." That really speaks about an attitude, not just an act, doesn't it? Our souls shrink up when filled with hate, anger and suspicion. And the opposite is true: We are opened up inside when it's love, forgiveness and compassion that motivate us.

Theologian and author Frederick Buechner also put it well: "Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you."

Wow, those are potent words. And there's not much I need to add to any of these quotes. There's plenty of food for thought in them. I know I still (and always) have more forgiving and letting go to do. How about you?

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