devozine

Spiritual Practice

TEASED

Aimee Espiritu

In school, one girl often stood in front of the class and cracked a joke. The class would laugh while I held back tears. I was the punch line.

Then I would be told to be kind and to forgive as Christ forgives. I felt as if I were being asked to part the Red Sea with a pencil or to turn the water in my jug into a Slurpee. Forgiveness seemed impossible. I listed all the reasons why I should never forgive this backstabber, and I recited them daily like a catchy pop song.

Instead of forgiving, I held a grudge, which poisoned other areas of my life. I was short-tempered with my parents. I avoided making friends for fear of being bullied. I became tactless and inconsiderate to people who cared about me. I was miserable, and I made others miserable as well.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Romans 12:14 (NRSV)

Finally, I realized this grudge was only hurting me. As I started to forgive, I felt as if I were getting a makeover: Relationships changed from negative to positive. I started meeting wonderful people. I became a much better daughter and friend.

Sometimes, forgiveness means finding the courage to move away from what is hurting you, to choose a happier life for yourself by moving on. It’s about letting go of pain and allowing God’s love to flow into your life.

 

JOURNAL: When have you held a grudge? How did you learn to forgive and to move on? Write about your experience.

Aimee Espiritu is from Pasig City, Philippines.

—from devozine (March/April 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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