My sister and I clashed frequently when we were younger, but one time especially stands out in my memory. After a bout of yelling back and forth where we’d both said hurtful things, she said something that in the moment seemed unforgivable. Witnessing the animosity growing between us, my grandmother reminded us of our responsibility to love each other: “God gave you one sister in life. You’ve got to show each other a little grace,” she said. When we asked God to fill us with love and understanding, He helped us acknowledge how we’d hurt each other and to forgive one another.
It can be so easy to hold on to bitterness and anger, but God desires for us to experience the peace that can only come when we ask Him to help us release feelings of resentment (Ephesians 4:31). Instead of harboring these feelings, we can look to Christ’s example of forgiveness that comes from a place of love and grace, striving to be “kind and compassionate” and to “[forgive] each other, just as in Christ God forgave [us]” (v. 32). When we find it challenging to forgive, may we consider the grace that He extends to us each day. No matter how many times we fall short, His compassion never fails (Lamentations 3:22). God can help us remove bitterness from our hearts, so we’re free to remain hopeful and receptive to His love.