“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
Building a successful relationship calls for focusing on the other person’s strengths instead of their weaknesses. Concerning marriage, Benjamin Franklin said, “Keep your eyes wide open beforehand and half shut afterwards.” It’s a mistake to rush into a lifetime relationship without taking time to get to know the other person. Without due diligence on the front end, you are sure to have problems on the back end. But an important relationship principle lies in learning to forgive and forget. American politician Edward Wallace Hoch is attributed with saying, “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly behooves any of us, to talk about the rest of us.”
Forgetting can be harder when the offence is great. Small offences can usually be forgiven quickly; big ones involve a healing process. But until you decide to forgive and forget, the process can’t even start. Paul writes: “Be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other … forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything … It is what ties everything … together” (vv. 12-14).
Lord, as You have forgiven me my sins, teach me to forgive in the same way. As You show me grace and mercy, let me do the same to those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.