A merchant in a small town had an identical twin son. The boys worked for their father in his department store and when he died, they took over the store. Everything went well until the day a twenty-dollar bill disappeared. One of the brothers had left the bill on the cash register to attend to a customer but when he returned, the money was gone. He asked his brother probing with a subtle accusation in his voice. Temper rose and before long, a bitter chasm separated the young men. They refused to speak, decided they could no longer work together and erected a dividing wall from the centre of the store. For twenty years the hostility grew, spreading to their families and the community. Then one day, a man from another state stopped by, walked in and asked the clerk, “How long have you been here?” The clerk replied ‘all my life’. The man then said, “I must share something with you. Twenty years ago I rode into this town in a boxcar. I hadn’t eaten for three days. I came into this store from the back door and saw a twenty-dollar bill on the cash register, put it in my pocket and walked out. All these years I haven’t been able to forget that. I know it wasn’t much money, but I had to come back to ask your forgiveness.” The man was amazed to see tears well up in the eyes of this middle-aged man. “Would you please go next door and tell that same story to the man in the store?” he said. Then the customer was amazed to see two middle-aged men, who looked very much alike, embracing each other and weeping together in the front of the store. After twenty years, their brokenness was mended and the wall of resentment that divided them came down.
This classic is straight up for us this week. Life is too short for experiment that can blow up the laboratories of our relationships. Insignificant disagreements if not handled with care can lead us into resentments, bitterness, depression and breakdown of communication in relationships. People have been fired from work, partnerships broken in business because of relationship management. There is no offence grievous that shouldn’t be forgiven anyone. It is often the little foxes that spoil the vine. The solution which may not be of a popular consensus, but it is simply to let people go when they hurt us. This week, refuse to harbour bitterness and you will be amazed at how much energy you have to build bonds with those you love