“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
Being a mother to five, ages 5-16, disagreements are common within our home. However, it simply amazes me how my dear sweet children will quickly turn on each other to prove that he/she is right. Whether it is something trivial like the way to play a game or what clothes match to weightier issues like who left the milk out or the color of the sky; there are times they will dig their heels in the ground and not budge. At this point, it shifts from a disagreement to a full-blown argument. Names and unkind words are generally exchanged, which is when I step in to bring resolution to the issue at hand. In my children’s minds at that moment the most important thing is to be right.
It is easy to look at my kids and see where they need to change their attitudes and learn that God wants them to not only be kind and compassionate to one another, but also forgiving.
However, if we are truly honest with ourselves this is an issue many of us struggle with as well. We may feel that we will come across as weak if we don’t stand our ground. But this kind of toxic attitude leads to fractures in your relationships.
You and I must look at these as growth opportunities, a chance to look at these relationships as long-term investments. Therefore, it must include give and take and definitely forgiveness. God through Christ’s sacrifice has graciously forgiven us and therefore we are in turn to forgive those around us. These acts of obedience will not only strengthen our human relationships, but also draw us closer to God.
Take a moment to evaluate your attitude towards others this past week. If there is someone you need to apologize to, don’t delay. Either way ask God to remind you to keep your attitude in check in order to strengthen, not destroy relationships.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You with a heavy heart. I realize that my need to be right at times is destroying relationships. I ask that You help to rid me of this behavior. I must remember that I am to not only be kind and compassionate to others, but also forgiving – just as You forgive me. I long to break down these barriers and strengthen relationships with those around me as I strive to be more like Christ. In Your Precious Name, Amen.