From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily come easy, especially when someone we have trusted betrays us. We must ask God to give us a forgiving spirit, for this is an example to others watching that we seek to follow in Christ’s footsteps.
Living with regret can affect us in many ways, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The Bible says, “Pursue peace with all people … lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble” (Hebrews 12:14-15).
When we experience broken relationships, often times they are not healed because we refuse to take the first step. Sometimes this is because of pride, hating to admit that we might be wrong or at least that we had a part in causing the split. Other times it’s because we are afraid of opening our lives to still more hurt. Whatever the reason, we mustn’t let it keep us from seeking reconciliation from past conflicts.
It is not always possible to mend a broken relationship, of course. Some people simply refuse to be reconciled. Some refuse to accept responsibility for what they have done, making it difficult to bring about resolution. But at least when we reach out and try, we know that the effort has been made. We can bathe our efforts in prayer asking God to heal our own hearts and ask Him to work in the heart of the other person as well, that they would be open to reconciliation.
“Bearing with one another … forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:13).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)