“Why should I have to apologize? I didn’t do anything wrong. She started it!”

It’s hard when someone we love maliciously attacks us for no apparent reason or says things to hurt our feelings and damper our self-esteem. Yet, as humans, we have the propensity to hurt one another.

What we do with that assault means the difference between peace and resentment. We can let what was said slide and try to put it out of our minds, which rarely works, or we can ensure that our hearts don’t become bitter or ill-spirited by initiating forgiveness.

Today’s verse makes it clear that God takes forgiveness seriously. So much that He won’t entertain anything else we have to say until we repair the iniquity that has taken place between ourselves and others. Making amends is never easy, but it’s necessary. After all, God forgives us for a multitude of things each day. If His goal for us, and ours, is to become Christlike, it stands to reason that exercising mercy should be high on our priority list.

While I can’t say I enjoy being wronged, I can place my heart in a position to forgive. It may not feel warm and fuzzy at the time, but I know that the things my Father has forgiven me for don’t compare to exonerating a friend or loved one.

Forgiveness frees both us and the offender. It makes our hearts light again so that we can continue to love one another as God has loved us. Do you need to forgive someone?

Father God, there are times when I’m not so forgiving because of being wronged. Even when I feel I shouldn’t have to enter the room of forgiveness, please call my heart there so that I may pause and prepare to let go of the offense. Purify my heart, such that I would not hesitate to forgive or ask for forgiveness, no matter what or who it is. It’s in Jesus’ holy name I pray, amen.

Go Deeper — Take some time today, while meditating on the above verse, to consider those whom you haven’t forgiven or from whom you have not asked for forgiveness. Extend amnesty today."Why should I have to apologize? I didn't do anything wrong. She started it!"

Tags: Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5
Photo Credit: Tyler Lastovich