When conflict arises, we have no control over the response of the other party or parties. But we do have absolute control over what we choose to do. As Paul says, we are to do everything we can to live at peace with others—even those who don’t even know they’ve offended us. Choosing to offer forgiveness, whether spoken or unspoken, may or may not impact the other person. But forgiveness frees us from the trap of anger and bitterness that can grow when we hold onto our grudges.
1. Can you think of a time when you’ve experienced the benefits of forgiveness? Of being forgiven?
2. Is there someone in your life who has hurt or offended you that you need to forgive?
Challenge: Sometimes the person who hurt you is no longer available to you to talk through the offense. It might be distance, their current circumstances, or even death that prevents the conversation. You can still seek to offer forgiveness by acknowledging it and asking God how you can feel His peace. He will provide it when you ask.
This devotional is written every week by Hillcrest members.
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