Interacting with people is messy.  It’s also unavoidable.  They are everywhere.  The truth is as we interact with friends, family, or people in the marketplace, disagreements will arise.  People aren’t always going to treat us fairly.  We can all remember a time someone has wronged us.  Sometimes it’s a misunderstanding.  Sometimes our plans collide with another person’s.  At times, someone is deliberately trying to provoke us.  When conflict springs up, and things are said and done against us, it is natural to experience anger and frustration.  One frustrating conflict with a person can completely take over our thoughts and emotions.

What happens if the conflict isn’t resolved?  What if it ends in a way where we got the worst of it?  It’s times like this that I have to remind myself of Ephesians 4:31-32,

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

-Ephesians 4:31-32

If we allow wrath and anger to dominate our thoughts and emotions, bitterness starts to grow.  We can’t let it go.  A grudge has formed.  Before we know it, our joy and peace are constantly being robbed.  Seeing the person ruins our day.  We start speaking bad things about the person.  Our communication is spoiled.  Before long, we are a mean, nasty mess (I can speak from personal experience.) 


In every situation, we must forgive.  That doesn’t mean we constantly get run over, but it does mean that we don’t hold things against people in our heart.  Paul is commanding all of us to be tenderhearted.  We must keep our heart soft towards people.  We can’t let a bad situation, or someone mistreating us poison our heart and harden us to the people around us.  Just as Jesus forgave you and me, and died for us even while we were sinning against Him and God the Father, we must forgive.  Even in the midst of people acting spitefully toward us, or slandering us to other people, God has called us to forgive, and forgive first. Let’s ask the Lord to soften our hearts and help us to forgive, and let’s receive healing and breakthrough today! 

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