Daily Thoughts, February 20, 2002
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It is easy to forget what forgiveness looks like. In the competitive, dog eat dog world, only the strongest, best, and toughest survive. The rules state that people need to be resilient to accusations and threats. Others often add that we need to ignore those who take advantage of their position. I find it too easy to fight before thinking, compete for the sole purpose of winning, and exchange blows so the tally remains close in count. This is the right way, isn’t it? The world would have us believe, yet God suggests something different.

I have a friend who closed a conflict chapter recently. The incident happened almost ten months ago, but the timing was not right for resolution. I did not sense any resentment or anger. Our dialogue reflected more a feeling of loss because of conflict had never been closed. The close was full of relationship, mercy, and forgiveness. The opportunity is open for friendship, restoration, and growth.

I often think that when the subject comes up people are asking me to be blind. The most common forms of advice come as clich?s. Ignore the offense. Pretend that it never happened. Act as if you do not know.

God has a different idea. “Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on a slight and – goodbye, friend!” (Proverbs 17.9)

To be blunt, it is not about blindness! Everything centers on choice.

When I think someone has hurt me, my response is a choice that I make.

As I deal with conflict, my action(s) are a decision reflecting inner priorities.

When criticisms and accusations come my way, I am accountable for whatever I do.

The first option is always present; “Overlook an offense and bond a friendship.”

The second is the other solution; forgive and seek resolution.

The third begins a war that starts within the self. Descriptions include “get even”, “revenge”, “retribution”, “justice”, and “making things fair”.

When I look to God I find that he has made His choice when it comes to our relationship. His words are mercy, compassion, and love!

February 19, 2002
February 21, 2002