When I thought about it, my stomach knotted and my head pounded. Reflecting only allowed anger to boil up inside me.
My wife and I were temporarily living in unpleasant circumstances (with a relative). While not easy, we had no choice. Different personalities and routines have a way of crashing into each other when two independent families are thrown together.
When three more family members arrived for a visit and a three day sleepover in an already overcrowded house, it was more than we could take. Unkind words, hurt feelings and slammed doors erupted. Retreating to separate rooms and “running to town to pick up something” simply couldn’t resolve the issues. Rehearsing the situation only made it worse. I knew I had to release it and the offender to God.
Conflict is a part of life. Imagining we’ll always get along with everyone-even our family members, is wishful and foolish thinking. Paul gives us the key to resolution when conflict evolves. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).
Forgiveness is the key to unity. Rehearing injustices committed against us can lead to tension, anxiety, outbursts of anger, unkind words, making plans for revenge, acts of violence and even physical and emotional ailments.
Releasing the person (forgiving) who has wronged us keeps all of the above at bay. Forgiveness should be instantaneous and continual and may have to be repeated in order for it to “stick.”
Releasing those who harm us physically, emotionally and financially isn’t easy but it’s possible when we remember how much God has forgiven us. Who needs your forgiveness?
Prayer: God who forgives all sins, enable us to forgive those who need it most.