I heard Dr. Erwin Lutzer share this illustration in a sermon on resentment. It was written by Roma Wade from the WLS talk show in the Chicago area. It’s worth sharing!
Do you harbor resentment? Then you are poisoning your own meal at life’s banquet table. Imagine your mind as a little shop of horrors, a kind of museum filled with relics of all of the injustices and harm you have ever endured. Each exhibit depicts your memory of what someone did or didn’t do that hurt you. Brightly illuminated by your resentment, every exhibit has a soundtrack echoing with loud, angry, accusing voices. The walls are covered with horrible instruments of punishment and long lists of penalties to be inflicted on your wrong-doers. And coating everything is a thick, clinging residue of self-pity that keeps you from moving along to the New Futures wing of your museum, where exhibits are filled with pleasure and joy and possibilities. Can you imagine what it would be like to be locked permanently inside such a chamber of horrors? Of hate and resentment? If you are unable to forgive others for real or imagined wrongs, then your own horror chamber exists within you. That chamber of ill-will is your mind. And what a price you pay for maintaining such a museum of resentment. The negative reliving of your past stokes anger, resentment and seething hostility. It also turns your mind against itself. It’s like a poison to your soul. The simple profound truth is that the entire horror shop crumbles if you simply forgive. By forgiving others, you forgive yourself, you gain self-esteem and you free your own spirit to soar to new heights. There’s no time to waste. Now is the time to stop the pain of the past from poisoning the joys of your present and future. Decide to forgive and then let go, lay it down. Lay it down.
“Sometimes what we see as a curse one day becomes a blessing the next day. How much simpler it would be if we would learn to thank God for everything, instead of using our own judgment.” –Corrie ten Boom
“We are saved by a man who died loving his enemies.” — Timothy Keller
“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” — Hebrews 12:15
Image credit: http://meetville.com/quotes/author/corrie-ten-boom/page4