We've all been angry at someone, or some group of people. Perhaps you're angry at someone now. You might believe your anger is fair, and well directed, but there is a difference between momentary anger, and clutching tight to grudges and refusing to forgive.
We often have the misconception that when we put up a wall of anger, our behavior reflects on our strength, our toughness. However, a grudge only mirrors bitterness, and weakness, as it requires strength, and dedication of your heart to heal and forgive.
You want to reduce hate, and crimes against society? Then practice forgiveness. Wrongdoing occurs, there is no hiding the harsh reality, but we solve nothing when we participate in revenge. When we act in an hateful, avenging manner, we not only wrongfully hurt others, but we hurt ourselves, as well.
Grudges that we store in our hearts, steals room from where we should instead keep love and forgiveness. We become burdened by thoughts of revenge, instead of freeing our captive soul through forgiveness.
This is not to say all anger is negative, we should hate what is wrong but we should never hate the individual, even if they committed wrongdoing. You want to be angry? Be angry about injustice, be angry about racism, be angry about poverty, be angry about the evil of the world, but only if that anger leads you to positive action to prevent (not avenge) the crimes you witness.
If someone provokes your anger, and you hold tight to your anger and keep a grudge against them, they have already defeated you. Forgiveness is a process, a road less traveled, but one that is worth whatever internal struggle required to remove the burden of a grudge. No matter what one does against you, no grudge is impossible to let go of, never underestimate the power of a forgiving spirit, in a relationship, in a family, in a friendship, in a community... in the world.
Do you anger easily? Are you angry at anyone now? Do you often hold grudges? Do you frequently seek revenge against those who have hurt you? Have you ever forgiven someone who has wronged you? Other thoughts?
Title Quote: Lewis B. Smedes
Photo Credits: www.flickr.com/photos/jgual & www.flickr.com/photos/amaliachimera & www.monoscope.com.