Lessons from Proverbs
Proverbs 10:12 (AMP)
12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers and overwhelms all transgressions [forgiving and overlooking another’s faults].
You have no control over what others say or do to you but you have a choice on how you will respond to them. The natural tendency is to push away and hate those who do you wrong but Proverbs tells us that when you hate then you stir up strife. This basically means that you stir up angry or bitter disagreements. This means you open up a door for bitterness in your heart and you allow it to take root.
Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV)
15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
To allow the root of bitterness to spring us in your heart is to allow yourself to be defiled and to fall short of the grace of God. The godly way is to forgive, that is what we are called to do. Sometimes the offense done to us is so big in our eyes and the offender is not even remorseful about what they have done. Even then, God calls us to forgive and to love because Love overwhelms all transgressions. Remember God did the same thing, he loved us in our sin and He provided a way of forgiveness by sending Jesus to die for us.
When you hold on firmly to bitterness and unforgiveness you are so blinded to the fact that you have taken yourself hostage. It is when you make the choice to let go, to forgive, to love then you discover that you were the prisoner and not the person you were holding in your heart. Jesus told us;
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
It is important to make things right with your brother, sometimes we focus so much on what we consider “spiritual” but yet when it comes to our relationships we are unforgiving and bitter full of gossip and pride. Jesus is saying that our relationships with one other are equally important. Remember, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart mind and soul and you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself. Choose the path of love and forgiveness, it never fails.