"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one
another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:13).
In his remarkable book, The Sermon on the Mount, Dr. Emmet Fox deals with our
forgiving those who hurt us. In the chapter, Resist Not Evil, he states,
"...When someone injures you, instead of seeking to get your own back or to
repay him in his own coin, you are to do the very opposite–you are to forgive
him, and set him free. No matter what the provocation may be, and no matter how
many times it is repeated, you are to do this. You are to loose him and let him
go, for thus only can you be freed yourselfthus only can you possess your own
soul. To return evil for evil, to answer violence with violence and hate with
hate, is to start a vicious circle to which there is no ending but the wearing
out of your own life and your brother's, too.
"Antagonize any situation, and you give it power against yourself; offer mental
nonresistance, and it crumbles away in front of you." Dr. Fox points out that
"the mere rehearsing in thought of any difficulty endows it with new life. Going
over old grievances mentally; thinking how badly someone acted at some time, for
instance, and recalling the details, has the effect of revivifying that which
was quietly expiring of neglect."
By mentally resisting what we feel is a bad circumstance, we give it power and
life and, in the process, deplete our own spiritual energies and, perhaps, even
our physical stamina. Resentment fosters self-pity which fosters inability to act
and react in a Christlike way. In our anger and frustration, we also are tempted
to give others "a piece of our mind" and, in the process, lose our own peace of