Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Best Way to Get the Last Word is to Apologize

In 1755 a 23-year-old colonel was in the midst of running for a seat in the Virginia assembly when he made an insulting remark as part of a campaign speech.  The remark was addressed to a hot-tempered man named Payne, who responded by knocking the colonel down with a hickory stick.  Soldiers rushed to the colonel's assistance, and it appeared that a full-blown fight would ensue.  But the would be politician got up, dusted himself off, called off the soldiers, and left the scene.

The next morning the colonel wrote Payne, requesting his presence at a local tavern.  Payne obliged, but wondered what motives and demands the colonel might make--perhaps an apology or even a duel.  To Payne's surprise, the colonel met him with an apology, asking forgiveness for his derogatory remarks and offering a handshake.

The move may have been viewed by others as politically expedient, but Colonel George Washington considered it personally imperative if he was to enjoy internal peace as he continued with his campaign.

The moment we feel like demanding forgiveness from others...may be the moment when we are to forgive.

If you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands.  Go and humble yourself, press your plea with your neighbor!
Proverbs 6:2,3

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