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Choosing to Forgive

Do your choices impact onlookers with the love of Jesus? Join us in welcoming one of our newest contributors, Kristin Joy, to For The Family to encourage you in your relationships. ~Pat and Ruth

From my earliest memory, my parents were separated. The tension and negative tone could be felt regardless of the distance or venue of interaction. Their actions, interactions, and reactions signaled all the red flags—their previous grievances against each other had deep unresolved and unforgiven hurts. This prideful and destructive mindset spiraled into other friendships, relationships with family, and how they chose to view life.

Wouldn’t it have just been easier to say “sorry” along the way, forgive, and go on? What seems like a simple answer became an option discarded because of pride. Instead, the desire to be right and justify actions became blinding obstacles.

The truth is the Devil loves watching the drama of collapsing relationships. When we are unwilling to forgive, Satan uses those emotions to cause mass destruction. It begins with planting a seed of doubt and stirring in what-if scenarios, gossip, lies, and fear.

We were made to commune with one another, and relationships are a way in which we can love our neighbors as ourselves.

God created us to be in relationships that build up, cause us to grow, and encourage us on our walk as we pursue the will and wisdom of the Lord. There will be times of struggle in any relationship. Having the courage to work through conflict takes humility and prayer.

We need to give God the opportunity to shine through us as we choose words and actions that reflect His love.

We were made for relationships. But when we bristle or downright disagree with others in our lives, do our choices and communication still reflect the love of Christ to those around us? Learn how to redeem even difficulty to shine Jesus in your family today.

Resentment and bitterness are the by-products of unforgiveness, and they are like battery acid to the soul-they will eat you alive.

Bitterness is sneaky and can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. We never plan on becoming bitter or harboring resentment. It happens as we allow our hearts to well up with pride and put on an unforgiving attitude. The result corrodes away at our love for others and takes captive our feelings, thoughts, and words.

The simple alternative is forgiveness! We live in an unforgiving world that does not know what to do with the concept. When we make the choice to forgive, we model the truth and freedom of forgiveness. It is the opposite of needing to get even, settle the score, or hold a grudge.

People are always watching us, observing how we handle situations, and noting what choices we make. Our society is inundated with handheld devices that capture situations instantly and connect them to the social media world in the blink of an eye.

Will our choices impact onlookers with the love of Jesus?

Choosing to forgive is loving our neighbor as ourselves because we have a desire to be forgiven as well. If we want to be forgiven, then we have to forgive.

What would happen if we could have a do-over on a relationship that ended because of pride and unforgiveness? What relationship today can you build up or renew?


Kristin Joy

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