[forthright] Three of the Hardest Words

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 15:09:08 -0500
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross


Three of the Hardest Words
by Hershel Dyer

Some years ago, one of our popular magazines
carried the following story. A four-year-old boy
plucked a rose from a neighborhood yard and took
it home to his mother. Inquiring as to where he
had gotten it, she made him take it back and say
he was sorry. This was not easy, since he had
thought he was showing love to his mother. While
the neighbor lady fed him a piece of cake, her
husband went and cut a dozen roses. She then sent
the little fellow home with the roses and a note
which said: "Please accept these from a little boy
who picked the wrong rose and the right mother."

It is not always easy to say, "I am sorry."
Depending upon the person and the circumstances,
these can be three of the hardest words a person
ever utters. Pride will often interfere with such
an acknowledgment. These three words are a
confession that one has been wrong or mistaken. A
proud heart does not wish to own up to weakness or
fault. Only when the heart becomes truly humble
will these words sincerely come forth.

The wise questioning of this mother and her ready
response made her worthy of the neighbor's praise.
She was teaching her boy, in a hard way to be
sure, that it is wrong to steal -- to take without
permission the property of another. She was also
teaching him that doing wrong can have some
unpleasant consequences.

Character begins to be formed very early in life.
Moral precepts and the consequences of departing
from these are so indispensable to good character.
If the boy in the above account still lives, he
became a man a good while back. It is doubtful
that he will ever forget the lesson of his mother
so early and so indelibly taught.

But we must also appreciate the graciousness of
the neighbor who received the boy's apology. She
could have said, "You're a naughty boy for
stealing! Don't ever come into my yard again!"
Instead, she accepted his apology and rewarded him
for doing the right thing.

Thanks to The Voice of Truth International, Vol 49, page 64.

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