Many people go through their entire lives with a chip on their shoulder

Published 8:32 am Thursday, October 21, 2021

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Why must we hurl accusations and hatred? Seldom do I pass someone with a smile on their face or a spring in their step. People seemed so unhappy, so burdened; even in families, there seems to be conflict present. What has happened in our culture that we cannot at least be civil to one another? – R.B.

Dear R.B.: The unjust condemnation of others has a boomerang effect. We hurl vindictive indictments with the hope of crippling others, but, alas, we discover that we are hurt more than they are. This generation is quick with the deadly thrust. The harsh criticism of others and unfair appraisals of those about us may hurt them, but it hurts us more.
Many people go through their entire lives with a chip on their shoulder, carrying hurts and resentments over things that were said or done decades ago. Others are conflicted today because they are driven away by their own bitterness and harsh words to those who may also need a kind word. Like a poison, their bitterness has made not only their own lives miserable but also the lives of those around them. They have never learned the secret of forgiveness and forbearance.
We must be on guard, as the Bible instructs in Hebrews 12:15, “lest any root of bitterness springing up [can] cause trouble.” Meekness and forbearance are “musts” if we are to live harmoniously in society and develop healthy homes, families, and friendships. While Christians must always speak the truth, we must do it in love. The Bible tells us to “Speak evil of no one, [be] peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all” (Titus 3:2).
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)