Forgiving and Forgiven

Wanda Hendrickson

READ : Matthew 6:9-15

“I’m never going to play with you again. So there!” Strong words from a five-year-old. The severing sounds final each time one of the little brothers makes the declaration. It usually lasts a matter of minutes, maybe longer if one can find a sympathetic ally. Left on their own, they manage to forgive and begin their play together. They work it out.

Adults seem to have greater difficulty changing direction after a dispute. They don’t point fingers and say: “Na-na-na-na-na!” but they do some blaming. Sometimes they refuse to settle a problem and one party refuses to speak or walks by aloof for months. Avoiding resolutions increases the inaccuracy of the orginal problem and the pile of complaints grows.

Jesus offered a beautiful model for reconciliation. Go to your brother, friend, relative, co-worker, church member, and talk it over. Impasse? Invite a trusted elder to mediate. Things still not right? Involve the congregation in prayer and problem solving. Though it all, allow God’s Spirit to work. Jesus gave us the divine process to mend matters that tear people apart.

Jesus models reconciliation completely. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus made us for love and therefore we cannot truly live with anything less.

PRAYER

Forgiving Father, I do not want any hurts to ruin my happiness. Help me to give them up. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.