Has someone hurt you? Have you been wronged? Have you done the best you know how to do and it still is not enough? If you are human and walking among other people in this world, then I’m fairly certain you can answer “yes” to each of these questions. As Christians we know we will encounter people who dislike us, who hate us, who will insult us if we are living a life for the glory of God. Our Savior forewarned us and told us that we are “blessed if we are persecuted” on His account. Mt. 5:11. Somehow it seems less shocking to have unbelievers who treat us wrongly. It’s life. It’s hardest for Christians when we endure rebuke, rebuffs, and anger from fellow Christians, or family. It’s hard sometimes to remember that love:
“…is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:5
This is the season when so many of us gather to be with family. Tradition bids us come together and celebrate. Yet, so often family members find themselves at odds with one another. Many times conflict arises that has nothing to do with who carves the turkey, who sits next to whom at the table, who is late for dinner, or gets the wishbone. Conflict comes from digging up bones from past grievances. From harbored anger. From unforgiven contention–sometimes decades old. Sometimes we come with the best of intentions. We vow to accept another’s irritating habits, to keep peace no matter what. Then something happens and it dredges up the previous hurt feelings. It’s time to let them go. It’s time to ask God for grace to forgive. For me to accomplish this, I center on the mercy the Lord has shown me. He does not count my past against me. I am forgiven from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9-10.
As we face the days ahead, I pray each wrong committed against us is quickly forgiven. Life is so very short. We show our love by not acting rudely, selfishly, or begrudgingly. Yes, I know others may act that way towards us. But we are not accountable for how others act, only ourselves. We show accountability by not keeping record of wrongs. May this be our sacrifice to a Savior who gave His all for our sin. © Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011