A teacher asked her students to bring some tomatoes in a plastic bag to school. Each tomato was to be given the name of a person whom that child hates. So, the number of tomatoes would be equal to the number of persons they hate.
On a pre-determined day, the children brought their tomatoes well addressed. Some had two, some had three and some had five, some even had 20 tomatoes in accordance with the number of people they hated.
The teacher then told them they had to carry the tomatoes with them everywhere they go for two weeks. As the days passed the children started to complain about the decay and smell of the tomatoes. The students who had many tomatoes complained it was very heavy to carry and the smell was too much.
After a week, the teacher asked the students “How did you feel this week?”
The children complained of the awful smell and heavy weight of the tomatoes, especially those who carried several tomatoes.
The teacher said, “This is very similar to what you carry in your heart when you don’t like some people. Hatred makes the heart unhealthy and you carry that hatred everywhere. If you can’t bear the smell of spoilt tomatoes for a week, imagine the impact of bitterness on your heart as you carry it daily.”
The heart is a beautiful garden that needs regular cleaning of unwanted weeds. Forgive those who have angered you. This makes room for storing good things.
As this year ends, do a self check-up and see if there is bitterness, envy, unforgiveness in your fragile heart. Unforgivingness is like choosing to stay trapped in a cell for the crime committed by someone else.
As Lewis Smedes once said “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
Forgiveness doesn’t change the past but it brightenes your future. If you are bitter against anybody it means the person has gotten the best of you and that means he/she has won. Don’t let them win. Let it go.
Remember, one of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything everynight before you go to bed – Bernard Baruch.
Forgive others as quickly as you want God to forgive you.
Forgiveness is not a feeling – it’s a decision we make because we want to do what’s right before God – Joyce Meyer.
Remember to let go and let God.