From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Many people are conflicted today because they are driven away by their own bitterness and harsh words to those who may also need a kind word. Some go through their entire lives with a chip on their shoulder, carrying hurts and resentments over things that were said or done decades ago. 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.
Human nature exhibits behavior with a deadly thrust but tends to be slow with [applying] the ointment of healing. Harsh criticism and unfair appraisals cut deeply. The unjust condemnation of others has a boomerang effect. We may hurl vindictive indictments with the hope of crippling others, but alas, we discover that we are hurt more than they are.
Meekness and forbearance are “musts” if we are to live harmoniously in society and develop healthy homes, families, and friendships. The Bible warns us to be on guard “lest any root of bitterness springing up [causes] trouble” (Hebrews 12:15). 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).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)