If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. Luke 17:3b
One of our listeners wrote to us with a story that I thought was worth sharing. She was telling how after a lengthy and loud argument between her three children, they had been sent to their respective bedrooms to do some serious thinking of what it means to "love" each other. It was about a half-hour later, during a booming thunderstorm that she went up their rooms to bring them down. The children were nowhere to be seen. She called for them and eventually heard a voice. "Where are you?" mom asked. A small voice meekly answered, "We are all in the closet forgiving each other."
It's sad that it often takes a frightening experience to make us forgive each other. We, like those children, hold onto our grudges and arguments until we're forced to let them go. That's not right or good. It's certainly not the way the Lord wants us to live. Don't you think it would be better to take inventory of our resentments and then let them go? It seems a lot better than to wait for a thunderstorm to scare us into forgiving each other.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, forgiving is not easy for me sometimes. I know that You don't want me to hold onto grudges. Please fill me with Your strength and love, so that I can let go of past hurts and resentment. In Jesus' Name, Amen.