Word of the week - Expense

Expense is a term that holds considerable weight in our everyday lives, both in the literal and figurative sense. Traditionally associated with the concept of money going out or the cost incurred in the purchase of goods or services, the notion of expense stretches far beyond the financial sphere, permeating various facets of human experience, including emotional and psychological domains.

In the poignant words of Hannah More, Forgiveness is the economy of the heart... forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits, we find a profound illustration of how the concept of expense can be adeptly applied to our emotional and mental well-being. This quote captures the essence of expense not just in monetary terms but as a broader metaphor for the emotional and spiritual costs we bear in our lives.

**The Emotional Economy**

At its core, Hannah More's quote suggests that harboring anger and hatred comes with a significant emotional expense. These feelings, while natural responses to hurt or injustice, can consume an immense amount of our mental energy and spiritual peace. They can weigh us down, making every day feel like a battle against ourselves. This is the expense that More speaks of – a depletion of our emotional reserves, a diminishment of our ability to experience joy, love, and serenity.

**The Value of Forgiveness**

In framing forgiveness as an economy of the heart, More alludes to the notion of emotional management and investment. Just as in financial matters where wise investments lead to prosperous outcomes, in our emotional lives, forgiveness can be viewed as a prudent investment that yields rich dividends. Forgiveness allows us to conserve our emotional energy, redirecting it from negative, destructive feelings toward healing, growth, and peace.

**Saving on the Emotional Expenses**

By choosing forgiveness, we essentially 'save' on the 'expense' of anger and the 'cost' of hatred. This saving is not in the form of monetary gain but in the preservation and enrichment of our emotional well-being. We liberate ourselves from the burden of carrying these negative emotions, which drain our spirits and cloud our perspective. The energy we might have spent fueling resentment or vengeance is thus conserved or better yet, redirected toward more constructive and life-affirming pursuits.


The metaphor of expense in the context of emotional and spiritual well-being offers a powerful lens through which to examine our responses to hurt and conflict. It prompts us to consider the 'costs' of holding onto grudges and bitterness — not in monetary terms, but in terms of our happiness, peace, and spiritual growth. By embracing forgiveness, we not only avoid these 'expenses' but also invest in our emotional prosperity. In doing so, we open ourselves to a richer, more fulfilling experience of life, underscoring the timeless wisdom in Hannah More's reflection on the true economy of the heart.

© Debbie Huxton

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