William Fisher once observed that one of the most persistent warnings in traffic and in life is the warning of the danger of parking, of resting, of settling down, and yet men go right on parking where they should not. My friends no one ever parks in the wrong place in life without paying a price! You pay the penalty in arrested development, in stunted personalities, in narrowed wisdom, in limited lives.
One subtle destroyer of destiny that men park by is the attitudes of anger, resentment and hate. If I let myself bear an unresolved conflict against someone, failing to bring that conflict before the altar of forgiveness, then it is inevitable that I shall find myself turning bitter.
If I degrade myself to the point where I permit any man to make me hate him without forgiveness then I might find myself paying an expensive price. The cost of getting even is high. In his popular book, ‘None of These Diseases’ Dr. S.I. McMillan observed that the failure to possess a spirit of forgiveness makes us susceptible to many diseases. Because we cannot resist the temptation to get even, we pay the high price of a pound of our own flesh. Strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, ulcers and many other serious ailments afflict millions of people, and often it’s a direct result of the inability to forgive.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, this is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, don’t you expect a bonus, anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, don’t you expect a medal, any run-of-the-mill guy does that.
In a word, what I’m saying is, grow up, be a man – of God – don’t park by your hate, anger and resentment.