Please Forgive

Woman eyeElizabeth's Strout's collection of short stories, Olive Kitteridge won this year's Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In quite sophisticated fashion, Olive Kitteridge takes us inside the hearts of those getting older. One of the themes that runs throughout the book is that of reconciliation (or lack thereof). After a horrible scene in which a husband and wife are in a hostage situation and say the ugliest things to one another, the narrator says:

"They would never get over that night. And it wasn't because they'd been held hostage in a bathroom—which Andrea Bibber would think was the crisis. No, they would never get over that night because they had said things that altered how they saw each other. And because she had, ever since then, been weeping from a private faucet inside her…"

Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings many of us into proximity with loved ones and not-so-loved ones that may have wronged us in grievous ways. Something may have happened during your childhood or just last week that has built a barbed wire emotional fence between you and those you will break turkey with soon.

A word of encouragement for the holidays: It doesn't have to stay that way. Please forgive.

It's easier said than done…by far. Yet, it honors Christ. It also allows us to move on. Ron McManus was right when he said, "Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." Anger pollutes our spirits, and distances us from the God who forgives us our sins, and of the wrongs that we do to others. This Thanksgiving, lean on God's Spirit…and forgive. Experience the freedom that comes from letting go and trusting God. It may only reduce your "private faucet" from a gusher to a drip, but it's a start.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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