Drew remembered the feeling in the pit of his stomach every time he thought about it. A coworker, someone he considered a close friend, had taken credit for his idea and was being rewarded for it.
Drew’s anger didn’t affect his coworker, but it affected Drew. A doctor’s visit showed that this anger was causing Drew major health problems. When the doctor asked Drew if he was under any unusual stress, he had only one explanation.
Then James 5:16 came to mind. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Drew finally realized that it was unfair for him to refuse to forgive others. The desire to extend the gift of grace to his coworker began to fill his heart. He no longer wanted to harbor anger and disappointment. While he considered the friendship not fixable, Drew didn’t want to dwell on the hurt he felt. The only way past this situation was to let it go. Drew decided to forgive. He prayed about all his hostile feelings and surrendered them to Christ. Drew soon felt peace in his heart.
Jesus taught His disciples, “If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not to forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14, 15).
The apostle Peter once asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone. Jesus answered by saying: “It’s not the number of times that’s important, but your attitude. If your attitude is right, you’ll forgive someone seventy times if you have to” (see Matthew 18:21, 22).
The most beautiful expression of a loving and forgiving heart was Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, hanging on the cross of Calvary. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Our Savior is the best example of what we should do when we are wronged or treated unfairly. It can be hard to forgive, but we must. We should pray about it, forgive, and move on with God’s help.
—This article was modified from Dick Rentfro’s article titled “Why Peacemakers Are So Special,” on page 31 of the October 24, 2013, Adventist Review.
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