Releasing bitterness and embracing grace

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” — Luke 6:35-36

It was the week before his freshman year would begin, and Bruce Goodrich was being initiated into the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University. One night, Bruce was forced to run until he dropped—but he never got up. Bruce Goodrich died before he even entered college.

A short time after the tragedy, Bruce’s father wrote this letter to the university administration:

“I would like to take this opportunity to express the appreciation of my family for the great outpouring of concern and sympathy from Texas A&M University and the college community over the loss of our son Bruce.
“I hope it will be some comfort to know that we harbor no ill will in the matter. We know our God makes no mistakes. Bruce had an appointment with his Lord and is now secure in his celestial home. When the question is asked, ‘Why did this happen?’, perhaps one answer will be, ‘So that many will consider where they will spend eternity.’”

In a day and age when many parents’ first inclination would be to call a lawyer, Bruce’s parents showed grace. And while it might not have been easy to do, God gave them strength!

Maybe you’ve been wronged and are holding on to bitterness. If so, give it to God and show grace. In the same way you’ve been forgiven, you also can forgive others with the power of Christ in you!

Prayer Challenge

Ask God to show you where you need grace to cover any bitterness you may be harboring in your heart.

Questions for thought

How does it make you feel when others forgive you for wronging them?

What can you do today to release any bitterness you might be holding in and let God’s grace flow out to others?