It is reported that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited the home of a Kentucky lady. During the visit she took Lee to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. As they stood looking at the tree, she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, “Cut it down, my dear madam, and forget it.”
Lee’s point was that it is better to forgive the injustices of the past than to allow them to remain. If we hang onto bitterness, it will take root and negatively affect the rest of our lives. Often we are the only one that bitterness hurts. We suffer hanging on to the past, as those who hurt us, move on and enjoy their lives. We must cut down or remove the battle-damaged trees from life and allow something new to grow and flourish in their places. We’re not excusing the injustice, but we aren’t allowing it to negatively influence the rest of our lives either. We aren’t allowing it to rob us from the blessings of life.