Proverbs 10:19 The more you talk, the more likely you will cross the line and say the wrong thing; but if you are wise, you’ll speak less and with restraint. (VOICE)
I’ve been on the receiving end of cross and sometimes unjust words. It hurts. But I’ve also been the one with those words coming out of my own mouth.
In earlier years, before we knew our family member had a brain disorder, I would get very angry because of his behavior. Occasionally, I’d say something out of anger that I regretted later on.
After many years, I’ve learned a bit of restraint and realize that, as they say, I need to choose my battles. I tell myself that it’s his illness speaking, not him.
I, on the other hand, don’t have a brain disorder. My angry words arise from my sin nature.
There’s another part of forgiveness that’s easy for me to neglect – asking someone else to forgive me for my harsh words. Humility does not come naturally, but asking someone to forgive me has to come with no strings attached. I can’t say, “Will you forgive me for what I said, but you really shouldn’t have [done that, said that – you fill in the blank].”
Come on, you know what I mean. Something in us has to justify our sin. There must be a good reason why we said the wrong thing.
Well, there isn’t a reason good enough to justify sin.
It sobers me to think of what it would be like if God’s forgiveness had strings attached.
It doesn’t. He gives it freely when we ask. How can we not extend the same grace to others?