“When you are praying, and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, then forgive him. If you do this, then your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.” Mark 11:25 (ICB)
Jenny and Jason were at it again. Mom could hear their raised voices floating down from the upstairs bedroom. She didn’t like to immediately step in on their arguments. She was hoping they would work it out for themselves. “Oh Lord,” she prayed, “Help those children to forgive.”
Upstairs, the argument continued. Both of them were yelling at the top of their lungs, stepping on each other’s sentences. Jenny wasn’t even sure what it was Jason was angry about but she wasn’t going to just sit there and take it. So she responded with the same anger. She stepped closer and closer to Jason. Soon she found her arm raised, aiming for Jason’s shoulder.
But something stopped her. In her head she heard the voice of her best friend, Abby, from just the other day. Jenny had truly hurt her friend. She had shared a secret about her with some others. Of course, secrets never stayed secret for long once they were shared. Abby had a right to be angry. But instead of giving as good as she got, Jenny had heard words of forgiveness come out of her friend’s mouth. Abby had decided that their friendship was more important than being right.
Most importantly, love each other deeply. Love has a way of not looking at others’ sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (ICB)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Jenny slowly lowered her arm. “I’m sorry, Jason,” she said, “for whatever it was I did to hurt you.”
Jason just stood there for the longest time. Finally he muttered, “Yeah, well, I guess it wasn’t that big a deal.”
As quiet finally descended on the upper floor, Mom whispered a quiet, “Thank You Lord!”
Jenny felt so good inside. It was like something that had been so hard in her heart had finally broken and melted away. That piece of anger and unforgiveness that had been a part of her for so long was replaced by a simple peace. Jenny thought, “This must be what Mom feels like inside now. This must be that feeling she is always talking about. No wonder she can pray for Dad the way she does.”
Later that night, Jenny knocked softly on Mom’s bedroom door. As she stepped in, she saw that Mom was exactly where she expected her to be – in the old rocking chair they’d had since Jenny and Jason were little, her worn Bible open on her lap. Jenny knelt beside the chair and laid her head on her mother’s knees.
“Mom,” she whispered, “I think I finally know what you were talking about.”
Somehow Jenny’s mom knew that she had found that peace of Christ. That the hardness and anger and unforgiveness that Jenny had harbored toward her dad for so long was finally gone. She knew that Jenny was ready to practice forgiveness. And she knew that Jenny was finally ready to pray for her dad.
God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So always do these things: Show mercy to others; be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Do not be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, then forgive him. Forgive each other because the Lord forgave you. Do all these things; but most important, love each other. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. Colossians 3:12-15a (ICB)
Kim, a stander in Nebraska
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Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.