Psalm 36:5   For You, Lord, are good and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Ephesians 4:31.32   Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Matthew 18:21,22   Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

We all have conflicts from time to time throughout our lives.

We have disagreement, differences of opinions, differences in the way to do things, maybe how to raise your pet, children, interact with siblings, etc.  God created us all with a unique imprint.

Yes, there are many aspects our uniqueness differs from anyone else.  We have separate, although sometimes the same circumstances yet, our perception and response probably will differ even from other people who lived the same event as you, perhaps even a family member has a bit of a different memory or perception.  Circumstances, life events, age, listening to others opinions, observing good or bad behavior in others and so forth all blend together to form part of who we are and how our minds work and come to the conclusions they do. My ideas and opinions may vary from yours, may contrast greatly with some, and are totally different from many others. Those differences do not mean I am wrong and you are right or vice versa. They are just differences. And we are each entitled to our opinions.

Arguments, nasty words, rudeness, and other bad behaviors can hurt us and have a lasting effect.  It has been difficult over the years, for me to not take offense at some things that were said or done.  My spouse had a Don Rickles type of humor and I would frequently have my feelings hurt.  Most people thought he was funny with his comments—which were NOT all directed at me—he shared his sarcastic wit with almost everyone, but frequently my feelings were hurt.

We all get hurt about different things which happen, and I have found that if I examine some things which were said or done, I might be able to twist it around and make myself be offended.  But that is not what I should do. I should try to see the best in what others say and do, and if I have a true reason to be alerted that something is not right, it is better to go and address my concerns, rather than assuming the worst.  Mistakes can often be interpreted when not questioned; and ill feelings develop with no true reason.

It’s wonderful having everyone be unique. No one else has all your qualities, background, experiences and so on which has partially formed who you are.

We are bound to hurt others, albeit without meaning to and to have our own feelings hurt sometimes. I feel it is better to truly examine a circumstance and see if there was an intent to hurt.  And the Holy Spirit is with us to help direct our paths and warn us if someone is trying to intentionally hurt us.  There is usually a motive if someone is trying to hurt–jealously, anger, arrogance, lies, etc.

Experiences and past events may make one oversensitive and feel insulted, slighted or whatever, when that is not the intent, but it might be the perception.  I am finding it easier to evaluate motives to see if I should feel slighted.  And could it be my mis-perception.  Perhaps I have misinterpreted something said or done. I am trying to always give someone the benefit of the doubt when feeling a little stung.  Generally, the error is mine.  It was my misreading of something said or done.  

And there are times the person who hurt us, had no intention of causing hurt, and may be totally unaware of causing bad feelings.  Yet the person who felt hurt has anger, un-forgiveness, a bitterness in their heart.  Examine the circumstance with all honesty.  Do you believe there was an intent to hurt? Could you have misread the situation because of other things you had going on?  Could that person have other stresses happening and been in a hurry so seemed abrupt and was not truly hurtful?  Before you accept hurt, you must believe an intent to hurt was there.  Be honest, not judgmental.  Don’t look for assumed faults and hurts. There is enough damage done by many with intention,so if someone has hurt unintentionally, be quick to forgive, and if they are undergoing a trying time, offer to help.

It is sometimes very difficult to forgive. Forgiveness is a big step, but a necessary step for you, your stress and health.  And it is very important for your soul.

I cannot imagine being Stephen and being stoned because he believed Jesus was the Messiah, was crucified, died and then rose.  Stephen knew the truth, spoke the truth, and he suffered a painful death being repetitively hit with stones until the damage was so severe, he died.  Personally, I hope he was hit in the head with the first couple of stones and was unconscious throughout most of the stoning. But he cried out to God to forgive his accusers and abusers.  (Acts 7:60)  That is forgiveness.

Jesus also cried out as one of His final seven statements asking His Father to forgive those who had beaten, crucified Him. (Matthew 27:46).   That is incredible grace. It is also the knowledge that we, too, are undeserving and since we are forgiven, we must offer forgiveness to others who have hurt us. 

Most of us witnessed a wonderful display of forgiveness when Brandt Jean asked if he could hug in forgiveness the woman who had killed his brother Botham Jean.  He hugged her for several moments and told her he forgave her for taking his brother’s life. 

You take the time to pray and ask for strength and then you forgive the other at least in your mind. Maybe your heart is not there yet, but you ask God for help in getting the forgiveness to fully bloom, and it does. It is not easy, and certainly Satan wants us to hold onto the bitterness, the anger, the hurt, the pain and the grief. But that’s not healthy and it’s not grace, and as those who love Jesus, it is not the way He wants us to live. .

Not easy,  But knowing we are forgiven sins without being deserving, we can forgive.  Ask God to take your anger, ease your grief and give you solace. His Word promises He will.

It’s always been a growing process walking with Jesus for “mybellaviews.”