Friday, February 18, 2011

Be Quick to Forgive

Have you ever noticed how offenses happen? I mean, whether you try and protect yourself from them or not, they still manage to show up. Most often, they come from what should be the most unlikely source; that is, those who are closest to us.

I’m sure your wife has managed to offend you sometime this week, and I’m just as sure that you’ve managed to offend her. Much, if not most of the time, these offenses are caused by misunderstandings, miscommunications or speaking harshly to each other because of things that happened outside the marriage.

Some of these offenses need to be discussed, especially if they are constant, repetitive offenses. On the other hand, offenses that are caused by the Big 3 that I mentioned in the previous paragraph not only don’t need to be discussed, but they shouldn’t be discussed.

Okay, so if we don’t discuss them, what should we do about them? Should we just forget it? Or, should we stuff our anger, hurt and frustration deep inside and pretend it isn’t there?

Actually, each and every one of these offenses needs to be dealt with, not forgotten, not stuffed, even though they don’t necessarily need to be dealt with as a couple. All you need to do is forgive them. That’s it; just say those words, preferably someplace they can’t hear you, and let the problem go away.

There’s an incredible amount of curative power in the words “I forgive.” Broken hearts have been made new by those simple words. It doesn’t matter if you feel like forgiving them, or want to forgive them; it’s taking that step, as a step of faith and an act of your will that makes all the difference. Once you do it, once you verbalize your forgiveness of them, then the feelings will come. You will find yourself at peace once again.

If you find, after a short while, that you are feeling anger, hurt, frustration or whatever at your wife, because of that same thing coming up once again; forgive her again. There’s no law that says you can only forgive someone for something only one time. Just keep on forgiving them until it stops cropping up again.

You see, you’re not forgiving them for their sakes; you’re doing it for your sake. The benefit they’ll receive is seeing you at peace, instead of being bothered and upset. In reality, the greater benefit is for you.
Or, maybe better yet, the real beneficiary of your forgiveness is your marriage. That thing which had come between you will no longer be there. The two of you can have peace.

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