by Robin Houde
When my children were younger, they played nicely together most of the time. But there were moments when they just did not get along. They would begin arguing and not remembering to share and then I'd hear their voices getting higher and mean words being tossed back and forth.
Sometimes I'd wait a couple of minutes to see if they could resolve it themselves. If it didn't appear to be going in that direction, I'd step into the room and have to intervene and diffuse the situation.
There were always two sides to the story and it was hard sometimes to discern which one was the aggressor and which one was the defender. However, this knowledge wasn't really necessary in most situations, as long as no physical harm was done.
I didn't spend a lot of time trying to figure out who did what to whom, and instead focused more on coming to a resolution and having them apologize to one another quickly.
There are times when we do need to get to the root of a problem so we can grab hold of it and rip it out. But most often our every day relational issues are not so complex that we really need to dig deep to find a 'why'.
I think we can over-analyze situations, when all we should be doing is searching for a resolution and forgiving one another. If we are quick to forgive and slow to anger then those bitter roots won't have time to develop so there will be nothing to 'dig' out later.
James 1:19 "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
When we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, we are giving bitterness good ground for roots to begin to develop. Once the roots are established, it's harder to get rid of them.
Hebrews 12:15 "See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile man."
Looking back again when my daughters were little, after their apologies and hugs, they simply went back to playing and being friends again. They wouldn't bring it up that evening at the dinner table or drudge it up the next day or the next week during playtime. It was as if it never happened. How often do we forget to be like children? If only it came as natural and as easy in adulthood. I've found that it's really difficult sometimes to put the hurt feelings aside and truly forgive others. Nevertheless, this is what we're instructed to do. We need to search our hearts daily, for me sometimes hourly, and remember to just let it go.
Colossians 3:13 "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."