Conflict to Forgiveness (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 118)
Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT)
Then Peter came to him [Jesus] and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”
Conflict is inevitable in life. We find ourselves involved in disagreements in family, business, school, and social relationships. Sometimes, we find ourselves in the middle of squabbles and clashes without intending to be such as when lines are long and traffic is backed up. There are times when we aren’t on the same page with people who are important to us and who mean well.
When we experience disappointment because of something someone said or did to us, it can be easy to hold it all in. Instead of confronting it in a loving way and extending forgiveness, we allow bitterness and frustration to build up on the inside. However, Jesus doesn’t want us to waste our lives with this kind of behavior. He offers a better way for us to let things go. Instead of holding it in, we can let it out in return for an abundance of peace.
Being quick to forgive is not easy. In fact, it can be very hard especially when we feel deep down on the inside that the offender doesn’t deserve forgiveness. But when it comes to forgiving others, remember that we have been forgiven by Christ. The work of forgiveness in our hearts and in our actions is the hardest work there is. We will probably never feel like forgiving anyone. But feelings aren’t always to be obeyed.
Forgiveness, like love, is a choice. It is a decision that rivals all others. When we make the right choices, our feelings will eventually follow our minds and hearts. Jesus covered every hurt feeling and disappointing action when He died on the cross. He is the example for doing the hard work of forgiving. He didn’t hold any grudges against us; he let it all go on the cross. Be quick to forgive as many times as you are offended, even seventy times seven. Let your soul experience the freedom and joy that comes with being in the place of mercy.
“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.”
— George Herbert