A Lesson from a Horse
Ramming our feet into the stirrups. Pulling on our horses’ mouths with the reins. Losing our tempers. It’s nice to know that horses forgive us. A few times, I have accused a horse of naughtiness, only to discover later that he was actually reacting to something painful. I have lost my temper and fussed at horses. I accidentally hit one with a rope and unintentionally hit another in the face with a gate while opening it. Thank goodness they were not injured, but I felt terrible nonetheless.
The truth is, horses will carry us, but they refuse to carry the weight of a grudge against their frustrating humans. Even horse relationships are not severed when they are corrected or pushed around by another horse. It’s the way they’re built.
Forgiveness is so easy for horses yet so difficult for us humans.
The truth is, people make mistakes not only with horses, but also with each other. While forgiving someone can be difficult, holding a grudge is worse. It doesn’t make us stronger or better people. Instead, it makes us bitter. I’ve heard it said that holding onto bitterness and unforgiveness is like eating rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.
Forgiveness is not only about giving grace to others, but also about our own spiritual growth. Because God has forgiven all our sins, we should not withhold forgiveness from others: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).
If you have been carrying around the burden of a grudge, it’s time to ask God to help you set things right. Take a lesson from your horse, and learn to forgive.
Lord, I praise You for forgiving me. Help me to do likewise and forgive others, amen.