A man lay on his deathbed, harassed by fear because he had harbored against another. He sent for the individual with whom he had had a disagreement years before; he then made overtures of peace. The two of them shook hands in friendship. But as the visitor left the room, the sick man roused himself and said, “Remember, if I get over this, the old quarrel stands.” By: G Ray Jordan
The looming threat of death can change many things in a person’s life. A person can look back and see with renewed clarity wrongs he or she may have committed in past relationships. The desire to atone for our part of failed friendships can become strong and drive us to attempt a reunification.
Horace Bushnell wrote, Forgiveness is man’s deepest need and God’s highest achievement. We forget about forgiving others when the urgent need isn’t present, but we all know forgiveness is one of the most basic doctrines taught in our bibles. We are all on our deathbeds, some closer to the end than others. Why do we feel the need to hold onto the quarrels and hatred instead of mending relationships? We should be willing to forgive those seeking comfort by reaching out in earnest and not hold grudges in an attempt for justification.
In Matthew 6:14, Christ said: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, you’re heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Christ was willing to forgive anyone, but humans can’t seem to learn the importance of his example. It seems, we can’t find forgiveness for those that matter the most in our lives. I guess for many, it will have to wait for the deathbed before the realization sets in. Think of all the good that could have been accomplished with just one statement, “I forgive you.”