Why do you think it is so hard for us to overlook offenses and forgive those who have wronged us?
Overlooking offenses is one of the biggest problems we face in our family. For generations, my family has been dealing with “forgiving but not forgetting.” But, unfortunately, many relationships have been broken because of our lack of overlooking offenses.
When my parents got married, they chose to live with my grandmother. My Mom was an only child, so when she got married, my grandmother went to live with them. At that time, that seems to be a good idea. My parents worked, and my grandmother took care of us. However, as time went by, living with your in-laws became very difficult to the point that neither my father nor my grandmother overlooked offenses. Holding a grudge and unforgiveness ruled their lives for over 30 years.
Growing up in this environment was very difficult. My father and my grandmother would coexist but would not speak to each other.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 17:9, “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9 NLT
Did you know that when a friend or a family member hurts us, we have a choice?
Proverbs 17:9 says that we should disregard the faults of others. Forgiving faults and overlooking offenses help build and restore friendships. We may be tempted, especially in an argument, to bring up all the mistakes the other person has made. Love, however, keeps our mouth shut-difficult though that may be.
So, what does this mean? I’ve learned throughout the years that bringing a personal attack about someone into an argument leads to more resentments and broken relationships. It’s essential to stay focused on the topic being discussed. As simple as this may sound, it’s tough to follow, especially during a heated argument. That would only add more fuel to the fire, not extinguish it.
So, how are we supposed to handle unforgiveness? First, the Lord gave us His Word to help us become more like Jesus. Then, as we grow to be like Jesus, we will acquire God’s ability to overlook others to deepen our relationships with them.
We can either accept their apology, forgive them, and keep the relationship, or we can hold a grudge, even if they are contrite, and end up more distant from them.
Friends, I don’t know if you can relate to this concept but be encouraged. As we become more like Jesus, we will live in peace and learn to overlook offenses. Remember, beloved, regardless of the number of times we have and will fall back into sin, Jesus’ sacrifice still covers us. He will not leave us in darkness. He will continue to do His good work in us.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your Word and Your unfailing love. Thank you for reminding me that I do have a choice to overlook an offense and live in peace with others. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.