Rev. Dr. Richard Killough of the Sunderland Congregational Church told an interesting story in a sermon he gave last fall about forgiveness. It came to mind recently for reasons I’d rather not go into.
Leonardo da Vinci, the story goes, was painting the Last Supper, and he wanted to settle an old score with some guy by using the guy’s face for the face of Judas. Let’s face it, that’s pretty funny.
But then when Leonardo came to paint the face of Jesus — a rather important feature of the painting — he couldn’t get it right. He tried and tried — and he was Leonardo da Vinci — but he couldn’t get it right.
It wasn’t until he changed the face of Judas that he was able to paint the face of Jesus. And by all accounts he did a pretty good job.
I think this shows how nursing a personal beef impairs your creative abilities. It silences your child/genius and stifles joy. Most of the smart people I’ve read say to forgive everything, short of being a sap.
I think nursing a legitimate beef is something different; I don’t think it eats you up in the same way; tho where the line is I’m sure I cannot say. I guess it would involve justice and other principles larger than one’s own personal beefs, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go without a license to preachify.