If you’ve lived life with people for any amount of time, you’ve probably experienced pain and frustration. None of us are perfect this side of eternity. Forming authentic relationships necessitates that we develop conflict and forgiveness skills.
There are always going to be things others do that hold the potential to make us angry and bitter. However, whether we choose to be these things or not is ultimately our responsibility.
Hebrews 12:14-15 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
This verse is saying that we’re in control of our own emotional state. While we can’t control what others do, we are responsible for what we think, feel, and do. This is actually good news! We have the power and agency to own our lives—no one can take that from us.
So how do we maintain a sensitive heart in this cold, cruel world? By surrendering our pain over to God. When we let go of bitterness and unforgiveness, we open our hearts for Him to heal that pain. Surrendering it to Him ensures that we don’t hold onto it—that our hearts don’t grow cold and sour.
After all, if God forgave us when we didn’t deserve it, surely we can rely on His help to do the same for others.
Dr. Derek Grier