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Forgiveness vs. getting even

forgiveness on Articles - Society today doesn’t really appreciate the concept of forgiveness. In fact, you might say that it is a lost art. Our culture today exalts vengeance. It exalts payback. It even exalts violence. Many people operate by the adage, “Don’t get mad; just get even.”

I once saw a bumper sticker on a car that said, “If you love someone, set them free. If they are yours, they will come back to you. If they don’t come back, hunt them down and kill them.” That is not the kind of person you would want to tailgate.

But why should things like that actually surprise us? Think of the movies you have seen where the hero, so-called, is wronged. Then the movie builds up to that big climax when the hero is going to have his moment of payback. Then we applaud, because that is what we are trained to do and what we are expected to do.

Nowadays if you upset a neighbor, you no longer work it out over a cup of coffee. Instead, it is taken into the local courtroom. There is no forgiveness. People don’t want to forgive anymore; they want to exact their revenge.

Unforgiveness is choosing to love hate. And it will produce bitterness, malignancy, anger, rage, anxiety and depression. Simply put, unforgiveness is sin.

Some might say, “But you don’t understand. This person ripped me off. … This person took advantage of me. … This person slandered me. … This person hurt me. They have to get their payback.”

I do understand. But unforgiveness will eat us up inside. As we experience all of that hatred toward another individual, it is tearing us up. It has been said that when you forgive someone, you set a prisoner free: yourself. What we don’t realize many times is that when we harbor a grudge toward someone or want to exact our revenge, we are actually destroying ourselves.

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