I once heard someone who was dying say to their spouse, “I forgive you.” I won’t soon forget that, because I watched this man muster up all of the strength he had to say those words to his loved one. So, I always assumed, it must have been very important to him – Forgiveness, that is. And every now and then, especially when someone really, really hurts me – I remember those words. I have no idea what he was forgiving, or even if the person he was forgiving was sorry for what they had done. But, we don’t really need people to be sorry to forgive them, do we? The answer is simple. No. He forgave that person so that he could die peacefully.
Billy Graham said, “Man has two great spiritual needs. One is for forgiveness. The other is for goodness.”
Three words! “I forgive you.” And years later, those three words, that act of forgiveness, the grace this man extended to his offender, will forever remain in my memory.
But words are like that, aren’t they? They stay with us. They cause us to feel emotion, especially if they are coming from someone we believe cares for us. Have you ever heard the saying, “One kind word can change a person’s day?” It’s true. We all know it. We can smile, say “good morning,” tell someone they look pretty, and it can set the tone for that person’s day. They remember it, and they remember how you made them feel, and more often than not, they want then, to make someone else feel that way too.
But what about the not-so-kind words? What about the hurtful things we say? Do we not think they have equal, if not more, power to affect someone’s day (or life???) They do! Think about it. I remember three words I heard, that were not even spoken TO me, and they are as profound and meaningful today as they were the day I heard them.
So please, choose your words carefully. Tell those you love, that you love them – and do it often. Tell your children that you love them and are proud of them, whether they are attorneys or garbage men. And tell them often. Smile. Be kind. Don’t roll your eyes. Don’t talk behind people’s backs. It’s not very nice. And forgive, always.
People may not remember what you did for them, but they will ALWAYS remember how you made them feel. (Always)