“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Colossians 3:13 NLT
Recently, I read a play I wrote and directed in 2015. One of the characters had received grace from her mother but was unwilling to share that same grace with a friend (who had committed a smaller offense). Although the characters were fictional, this situation is relatable. God forgives us for so much – everything, actually. Yet, when we are given the opportunity to forgive others, we are sometimes hesitant. We’re hesitant to extend grace and look past others’ faults.
But why? Is it because we’re selfish? Are we only concerned about how we feel in that moment? Do we forget that we are also imperfect?
Shift your perspective. Try to gain an understanding as to why the person you’re in conflict with did what they did. Is it really as extreme as you’re making it? Because it’s only as extreme as you make it. If so, remember the battles we fight on earth are spiritual (Ephesians 6:12). This is not to say your feelings are invalid and you should always accept how you’re treated. It means you don’t have to be captive to your emotions. You can live in peace and in a way that honors God even when you face frustration and opposition.
Recognize that you have a choice. Are you going to allow your emotions and your sinful nature to win or are you going to win by extending grace? What if God’s grace towards you was dependent on the grace you showed to others? Thankfully, it is not! However, it’s still important to think first and remember you are fully capable of forgiving because God has graced you to forgive. He is your power in weakness.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT
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