We all offend one another. We should not want to and should try not to, but sometimes we do; sometimes without even realizing it. When we see that we have offended someone it should make us feel very bad. We should apologize and ask their forgiveness. We should try and make it right. We should try and be careful not to make the same mistake again, yet sometimes we do.
How do you respond to those you feel have mistreated you? Do you lash out in anger? Are you hostile? Do you withdraw, cutting off all ties? Do you turn on yourself?
Such negative responses are very harmful to all involved, especially to you. They will only hinder reconciliation and may destroy your relationship altogether. You are allowing the other person to determine how you feel and act. This is very enslaving and will ruin your life.
Have you ever noticed how some always seem to be so upbeat and positive? It is not because everything is going great in their life, or that things are necessarily going better for them than everybody else. No, it is because they choose to be that way. They decide to look for reasons to be happy and to focus on the good things. In doing so they attract more of the same. It doesn’t just happen; they make it happen.
This is how Paul teaches us to live our lives. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
My beliefs are important. I believe that God exists, that He is the Creator of all things and that He loves every soul. I believe that the Bible is the word of God, that it reveals God’s will for our lives and that the gospel is God’s power to salvation. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died for my sins and was raised from the dead, that He is the only Lord and Savior of the world. I believe that He will judge the world at the last day, sending some to eternal torment and others to eternal life.
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135