Human beings sometimes offend each other — even believers. It’s how we respond when we’re hurt that matters most. When a believer offends us, the flesh naturally wants to react defensively and retaliate or cower. But God shows us a better way — how to control our “fleshy” reaction.

Since we are to be as one body and we’re called to live in peace, we should strive to obtain harmony. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can catch ourselves from thinking that they don’t deserve forgiveness because they've wronged us. And if we’ve committed the offense, we may tend to feel we don’t deserve forgiveness from them, or from God.

However, I’ve found that God is so quick to forgive me and to forget my shortcomings. He allows me to partake of His mercy for what seems the thousandth time. I’m so grateful for that.

Shouldn’t we give others the benefit of the doubt? We can decide to not allow our feelings to control us. When we refuse to let the offense hook us, we let others off the hook. We don't choose to point the finger of accusation at them.

I’m not suggesting we deny their action, but choosing to love others in this instance is not a feeling. It’s an action — to love someone despite their flaws. As we restrain the mouth, harness the feelings, and decide to reconcile, the tension on the inside of us vanishes. Peace reigns.

When members of the body of Christ are at peace with each other, we can make a greater impact in God’s Kingdom.

Father God, I ask you to help me to be at peace with you, with others in the body of Christ and with myself. Help me to forgive and to receive forgiveness when things go wrong. Can you please enable me to walk in the peace that surpasses all understanding that keeps my heart and mind in Christ so I can be a blessing in your Kingdom, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Go Deeper — Examine your heart. If there’s anyone whom you’re not at peace with in the body of Christ or anywhere else, forgive them so they can be released. Let them off the hook regardless of how wrong you think they are. Enjoy peace with others as much as it depends on you.

Tags: The Body Colossians 3