May 7

Today's quotation:

Forgiveness is the economy of the heart. . . . Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.

Hannah More

Today's Meditation:

I know several people who would rather hold a grudge than forgive someone else.  These people are unable to look past an action that they believe is unjustifiable and see the people behind the actions, unable to consider what forces might have been at work to cause someone else to do what he or she has done.

But Hannah adds an interesting element here, one that intrigues me.  She talks of the "expense" of anger and the "cost" of hatred, two things that I never really had thought about deeply.  What do these words mean?  How might I find out what the expense and cost are to me.  And more importantly, how can I avoid these unnecessary and probably very expensive expenditures in my life?

Forgiveness definitely can erase anger and hatred, as long as it's sincere and not put on as a show.  Saying "I forgive you" and truly forgiving them in my heart are two different things, of course, and the effects on me as a person are likewise different.  If my forgiveness is not sincere, then I continue to pay the cost of anger and resentment.  And have no doubt--the cost is to the person who hasn't forgiven, not to the person who would be the recipient of sincere forgiveness.

"The economy of the heart."  We can give our hearts a true gift when we forgive someone, for the heart will no longer be burdened by our negative feelings towards another human being.

Questions to consider:

What do you consider to be the most dominant costs of anger and hatred?

Why might some people prefer to hold on to anger rather than practice forgiveness?

What are some ways we can be sure that our forgiveness is sincere?

For further thought:

If we can forgive everyone, regardless of what he or she may
have done, we nourish the soul and allow our whole being to
feel good.  To hold a grudge against anyone is like carrying
the devil on your shoulders.  It is our willingness to forgive and forget
that casts away such a burden and brings light into our hearts,
freeing us from many ill feelings against our fellow human beings.

Sydney Banks


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