AFTER THE BUL­LETS STOPPED

Your love for our fam­ily has helped to pro­vide the heal­ing we so des­per­ately need. Gifts you’ve given have touched our hearts in a way no words can de­scribe. Your com­pas­sion has reached be­yond our fam­ily, be­yond our com­mu­nity, and is chang­ing our world, a

Activated - - NEWS - Uday Ku­mar lives in Ban­ga­lore, In­dia, and teaches English and Per­son­al­ity De­vel­op­ment cour­ses. By Uday Ku­mar

I was go­ing through a tough pe­riod. Peo­ple who had of­fended me were fre­quently on my mind, and I found my­self al­most ex­plod­ing with re­sent­ment and anger.

The only thing be­ing an­gry and flus­tered does, though, is cloud my think­ing and per­spec­tive. It never solves my prob­lem. My nat­u­ral re­ac­tion is to re­tal­i­ate and set things right, but in the long run, this only makes mat­ters worse.

Au­thor Dale Carnegie once quoted a po­lice depart­ment bul­letin that ad­vised, “If self­ish peo­ple take ad­van­tage of you, cross them off your list, but don’t try to get even. When you try to get even, you hurt your­self more than you hurt the other fel­low.”

The shoot­ing in­ci­dent at the Amish com­mu­nity in Penn­syl­va­nia some years ago is a pow­er­ful ex­am­ple of for­give­ness in ac­tion. A dis­turbed man—an out­sider to the com­mu­nity—walked into an Amish school­house and took ten girls hostage, even­tu­ally killing five of them be­fore tak­ing his own life. I can barely imag­ine what their fam­i­lies must have gone through, yet they for­gave the shooter, reached out to his wife and chil­dren, and even set up a fund to help them.

Of course the ways in which I feel mis­treated are min­i­mal com­pared to the loss those Amish par­ents ex­pe­ri­enced, yet they were able to for­give. I re­al­ized that much of my un­hap­pi­ness stemmed from the fact that I hadn’t for­given oth­ers for what they’d done. As a re­sult, th­ese in­ci­dents kept re­play­ing in my mind, caus­ing me a lot of an­guish. Judg­ment is God’s pre­rog­a­tive.

1 Our pre­rog­a­tive is for­give­ness. It ap­plies a balm of heal­ing to our own hearts and lets God work in the sit­u­a­tion as He sees fit. For­give­ness does not ab­solve the wrong­doer of the wrong, but it does lift a heavy bur­den from our hearts. That’s a les­son I hope to apply.

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