Mr. Peale tells a story about a man who suffered from many health problems: headaches, skin troubles, gastric disturbances, insomnia. It did not take Mr. Peale long to discover that one basic cause was the burning anger that he felt toward his brother. The brother, the executor of their parents' estate, had misappropriated funds so badly that the man had been robbed of his inheritance. Mr. Peale said, "I told him that his anger was understandable, but that if he wanted to recover his health he would have to stop hating his brother. We talked a long time about the restorative power of forgiveness, and finally the man agreed to grit his teeth and forgive. But he kept coming back to see me, because there was no improvement in his health. All the unpleasant symptoms remained. Finally I said to him, "Are you sure you have forgiven your brother?"
"Yes," he said, "I'm sure. I'm not angry with him anymore."
Then another thought occurred to me. "Do you ever think about the results of what he did?"
"Of course," he said. "How can I not think about them? I'm reminded every time I look at my bank account and I am not able to buy basic necessities."
"Perhaps," I said to him slowly, "that's the trouble. You've made an effort to forgive your brother, but every time you think of what he did, the old resentments come flooding back. You've made some progress, but you're only halfway home. You have learned to forgive. Now you must learn how to forget."
"Forget?" he echoed. "How can I forget?"
Maybe there are areas in your life where you have been withholding forgiveness. If there are any grudges that you are carrying around with you (Like a big rock), take a deep breath and decide to get rid of them.
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Russell Brownworth on Dec 11, 2000
Or would you be more like the woman who was bitten by a rabid dog, and it looked like she was going to die from rabies. The doctor told her to put her final affairs in order. So the woman took pen and paper, and began writing furiously. In fact she wrote and wrote and wrote. Finally the doctor ...read more
Contributed by James Wilson on Nov 23, 2000
Before her death, Judy Lawson became a spiritual Mother of scores of hardened criminals. "On her last Mother’s Day," according to Bill Myers, "she received 40 Mother’s Day cards from men whose life she touched." Her prison ministry began eighteen months after her son was brutally murdered. She knew ...read more
Contributed by John Hamby on Jan 23, 2001
Alexander Whyte said, “ It would change your whole heart and life this very (day) if you would take Peter and Cornelius home with you and lay them both to heart. If you would take a four cornered napkin when you get home, and a…. Pen and ink and write the names of the nations, and the ...read more
Contributed by Steve Heartsill on Oct 25, 2000
Pappy was a pleasant fellow. His face was quite drawn from age, but when he smiled, even his wrinkles seemed to smile with him. Pappy owned a pawnshop. Everyone who knew him respected and adored him. There was a room in the back of his shop where he spent time tinkering with his own precious items. ...read more
Contributed by Brian Mccutchen on Jan 26, 2001
A little girl’s Prayer: A little girl was being punished by eating alone in the corner of the dining room. The family paid no attention to her until they heard her pray: “I thank Thee, Lord, ...read more