“Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about” (Matt. 7:12, CEV). Think about all the ways in your own experience, within the family and without, in which you need to apply this principle, and, on the lines below, write down just what those times might be and determine, by faith, how you can do just that.
The writer of Hebrews counseled, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14, NKJV). Even when we take all the steps necessary, some people who have hurt us will still not listen and change. Perhaps some may offer an apology, but others will not. Either way, it is to our benefit, especially when it is a family member, that we take the journey of forgiveness talked about earlier.
In fact, forgiveness is an essential part of conflict resolution, especially in the family. When a person sins against us, God’s enemy loves to place a wall between us and that person, a roadblock that prevents us from loving that person as Christ loved us. Forgiveness is a choice that we make to get around that roadblock.
“We are not forgiven because we forgive, but as we forgive. The ground of all forgiveness is found in the unmerited love of God, but by our attitude toward others we show whether we have made that love our own. Wherefore Christ says, ‘With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again’. Matt. 7:2”. – Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 251.
At the same time, when we are the ones at fault, we need to try to restore the broken relationship with another person, which may involve going to the other person and telling him or her that you regret what you’ve done, and asking for their forgiveness. That’s what Jesus said: “So if you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God” (Matt. 5:23-24, CEV). It is nice when someone who has hurt us apologizes and asks for forgiveness. Likewise, it is nice when we give others the same type of care.
|How does thinking about all that you need to be forgiven of help you learn to forgive others?|