Even in the most perfect of relationships, there are going to be conflicts. You’re never going to agree on everything with someone, even if they are your best friend. My wife, Janie, doesn’t like country music. THAT represents a major sin in her life! And … I forgive her for that. There are a thousand things we have to compromise on in our marriages and in our relationships with others. But one thing that we should never compromise is our willingness to forgive one another.
Last Sunday, in our Relationship Rehab series we talked about the importance of practicing forgiveness. Notice I said “practicing.” It takes practicing forgiveness to be a good forgiver!
While marriage is the primary school to learn unselfishness, we know that all relationships require forgiveness. Proverbs 18:1 says it like this, “People who do not get along with others are only interested in themselves.” When a relationship lacks forgiveness, there is an issue of selfishness that needs to be addressed. I want you to rate yourself on a scale of one to ten, one being needs work and ten being you quickly and willingly forgive.
If you always have to get your way, you're destroying your relationships with others. Mark 3:25 tells us that these types of relationships are bound to fall apart. We have to learn to give in. It can’t be my way or the highway all the time. If you’re currently struggling in a relationship with a friend or loved one, I want to encourage you to forgive them. I don’t need to know your exact situation to know that withholding forgiveness is hurting you. We forget that forgiving others is FOR us.
The scenario is similar every time. We get angry about what someone did to us and we let it build up. If not dealt with anger turns to bitterness and bitterness leads to apathy which always leads to a lack of consideration. And you guessed it … lack of consideration reveals an unwillingness to forgive.
There needs to be boatloads of forgiveness in your relationships. You are imperfect. Your spouse, co-worker, friend, neighbor, siblings, fellow drivers, or whomever you are at odds with … is imperfect. I’ve heard some incredibly hurtful situations and I don’t doubt that this may be difficult for you … but … “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). Even Jesus said that if you cannot forgive others, God isn’t going to forgive you.
As we conclude our Relationship Rehab Series, I want to leave you with this verse of encouragement that is my prayer for you, “May God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us … “ Romans 15:5 (MSG). I pray that you ask yourself today if you're willing to forgive "that someone," as Christ forgave you.