He Who Cannot Forgive
He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass. – George Herbert
See if you can relate to any of this!
A friend of yours breaks up with his girlfriend and your friends start telling him all the bad stuff about her.
“I didn’t like her at all because she had such an attitude. She thought she was better than everyone else.”
“Yeah, man. She always talked bad about people behind their backs. I didn’t like that at all.”
“One time, I bumped into her at the market and she didn’t even say hi or anything. I don’t think she liked us much at all.”
A few short weeks later, they are back together. How quickly the attitudes change about her.
I find it funny when someone is doing me a favor and they act like I owe them the world or that I should worship their feet. A few weeks or months pass by and they are asking me for a favor. Oh, how I should act!
I find it really funny when people would rather believe the lies about you than remember anything good about you. They know you and they’ve seen you in action. If they could only remember your words and your actions when they are being told lies. But, they get sucked into the lies and then start looking at you differently.
These are all bridges that we can burn. We can also find a way to leave them where they are in case we need to cross them again. Being able to forgive should be easy since we all make mistakes. We expect others to forgive and forget our infractions while we hold a grudge toward others.
I had a friend who was new to getting drunk. He would act like a real jerk when he was drunk. The next day, he would realize all the stupid things he had pulled the night before. He would apologize and say, “But man, I was drunk.”
I got tired of hearing it. One day, I told him that he needed to be responsible when he was drinking. “Think about it. Let’s say you went out and murdered someone. Do you think the judge is going to accept your apology and let you go because you were drunk. ‘Oh, OK. You were drunk. Well, that makes it fine.'”
He agreed that it didn’t make sense. But, one night someone did something to him. He didn’t like it and he didn’t forget it either. I reminded him that the guy was drunk. “That don’t matter. He should know better.”
Some people just can’t see their own flaws, but are all the more willing to point out yours.