Some years ago a man named Lucien had served the state of Kentucky “beyond the call of duty.” One day he discovered that an old boyhood friend named Sam was serving time in the State penitentiary and had eight more years to serve. Lucien went to the warden and got permission to visit Sam. The two men talked for two hours - laughing over adventures from their youth. In an effort to help his old friend, Lucien asked the Governor for a favor. He asked him to pardon Sam; explaining that Sam was good boy and that he would welcome him into his business and home.
The governor agreed, and gave Lucien the pardon for Sam. However, he asked that Lucien spend another two hours talking with Sam first. If Lucien still thought he should pardon Sam, his parole would be granted.
Lucien hurried over to the penitentiary and again they sat down in the warden’s office. Lucien said, “Sam, when you get out of here, will you go into business with me? I might even get you out of here sooner than you expect.”
Sam got up and walked around awhile, looked out of the window, then said, “I don’t believe I could accept that invitation, for I’ve got something to do when I get out of here, something very important. I’m going to do it just as soon as I get out of here.”
“What is it, Sam?” Lucien asked.
Sam turned around, the fire glinted from his eyes, hatred filled his whole face as he said, “I am going to get two men together – the judge who sent me up here and the witness – and I’m going to kill them both with my bare hands.”
Lucien left and tore up that pardon.
When we choose to harbor bitter feelings or resentment towards another person, we think we are getting even with them, but in reality we are making ourselves prisoners.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." ~ Romans 12:19,21
Finding Freedom in Forgiveness...