From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

Why must we hurl accusations and hatred? Seldom do I pass someone with a smile on their face or a spring in their step. People seem so unhappy, so burdened; even in families there seems to be conflict present. What has happened in our culture that we cannot at least be civil to one another?

— G.P.

Dear G.P.: This generation is quick with the deadly thrust but slow with the ointment of healing. The harsh criticism of others and unfair appraisals of those about us may hurt them, but it hurts us more. The unjust condemnation of others has a boomerang effect. We hurl vindictive indictments with the hope of crippling others, but, alas, we discover that we are hurt more than they are.

Many people are conflicted today because they are driven away by their own bitterness and harsh words to those who may also need a kind word. Many people go through their entire lives with a chip on their shoulder, carrying hurts and resentments over things that were said or done decades ago. Like a poison, their bitterness has made not only their own lives miserable but the lives of those around them. They have never learned the secret of forgiveness and forbearance.

The Bible warns us to be on guard “lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble” (Hebrews 12:15). Meekness and forbearance are “musts” if we are to live harmoniously in society and develop healthy homes, families and friendships. While Christians must always speak the truth, we must do it in love. The Bible tells us to “speak evil of no one, [be] peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all” (Titus 3:2).