The Civil War left a tragic aftermath of bitterness, hatred, and resentment in America. The wounds inflicted by the war were deep and painful. Though the guns fell silent, the angry, recriminations went on. Many could not forget or forgive what had been done. Exchanges between former enemies rarely rose above the level of angry accusations and scornful denunciations
One man who refused to participate in or condone this terrible harvest of bitterness was General Robert E. Lee. In word and deed, Lee urged reconciliation between North and South. He knew that the war was over and that the future of the nation demanded a new attitude for a new day. To the day of his death, the "Gray Knight" was never heard to speak an unkind word about those who had formerly been his enemies. Lee even opposed the erection of Confederate monuments because he thought they would only serve to keep wartime passions alive.
On one occasion a lady in Lexington, Virginia, where Lee lived after the war, showed him the scarred remains of a tree in her yard. All the limbs had been shot off by Federal artillery during a raid. Thinking the General would share her sense of outrage she waited expectantly for him to comment. Finally, Lee spoke: "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it."
"Cut it down and forget it!" In many ways that is good advice for us as well! It could be applied to all the following:
1. Past Slights, Hurts and Wrongs.
2. Past Losses, Defeats and Failures.
3. Past Sorrows, Grief and Heartaches.
4. Past Mistakes, Transgressions, and Sins.
Consider Philippians 3:13‑14 - " Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."