Give a little forgiveness

Dec. 12, 2012 @ 08:19 AM

From time to time here in my little corner of the News-Topic, I’ve advocated the act of giving ourselves a present every day. Whether it’s an extra cup of coffee in the morning, a 20-minute nap, or maybe reading a chapter or two of a book you really enjoy, we all should give ourselves a little present daily. It just makes life a little more livable. I believe this is especially true this time of year.

    Allow me to suggest a gift to give yourself this Christmas. It won’t cost you a single penny, and yet it’s value is immeasurable. You don’t have to go out and shop for it. You don’t even have to go online to find it. This special gift will make you happy, bring peace to your heart, give solace to your spirit, and, as an extra bonus, make you feel good about yourself. I promise this gift will be beautiful not only to the eye but to the soul also.

   Give yourself the gift of forgiveness this Christmas.

    I doubt there’s anyone reading this that doesn’t hold some kind of ill will toward someone else. We use the phrase “carrying a grudge” for a reason. When you carry something that “something” becomes a burden. Living under the burden of a grudge day after day, year after year will eventually takes its toll.  This Christmas, today as a matter of fact, lighten the load you are under by laying down any grudges you may be laboring under.

    I once heard of a woman who literally lost her good health and eventually died because of a grudge she held against her siblings. She stopped eating, stopped taking her prescribed medications and stopped getting any kind of exercise. She just sat in her chair day after day cursing her brothers and sisters and holding on to her grudge as if it were something sacred and precious. In a few short months one of the siblings she despised so vehemently came to check on her and found her dead in her chair.

    No autopsy was initiated, but if there had been one the cause of death listed in the report would have been hatred.

   It’s frankly amazing how long some people can hold a grudge against another human being. I had a friend once who would fume every time he saw a certain police officer. Because my friend worked for the same public enmity as the officer, their paths crossed often and every time the two met my friend would come out with a disparaging remark, always making certain the policeman heard him. I can’t recall ever hearing the police officer offer any verbal retaliation.

     Even though it was none of my business I was intrigued so one day I asked my friend what he had against the officer.

   “He gave me a speeding ticket once, and I didn’t deserve it,” he replied.

   “Recently,” I asked.

   “Oh no, it’ll be 23 years ago this September,” my friend replied.

Twenty-three years. Really?

    Unless I’ve been reading my Bible incorrectly all my life, Christmas is all about forgiveness. The paramount reason Jesus came to earth was to bring forgiveness to a world filled to overflowing with sinners. Could there possibly be a better time to apply the healing balm of forgiveness to your soul than Christmas?  It really is the Jesus thing to do.

   As an old friend and mentor of mine used to say, “forgiveness is good for you, and it’ll help you too.” Besides, you just might need a little forgiveness yourself one day.


Benjie Watts of Gamewell is a columnist for the News-Topic. He can be reached by e-mail at