“Put up with each other.” Col 3:13 CEV
Building a successful relationship calls for focusing on the other person’s strengths instead of their weaknesses. Concerning marriage, Benjamin Franklin said, “Keep your eyes wide open beforehand and half shut afterwards.” It’s a mistake to rush into a lifetime relationship without taking time to get to know the other person. Without due diligence on the front end, you are sure to have problems on the back end. But an important relationship principle lies in learning to forgive and forget. American politician Edward Wallace Hoch is attributed with saying, “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly behooves any of us, to talk about the rest of us.” Forgetting can be harder when the offense is great. Small offenses can usually be forgiven quickly; big ones involve a healing process. But until you decide to forgive and forget, the process can’t even start. Paul writes: “Be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other…forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything… It is what ties everything…together” (vv. 12-14 CEV). One author puts it this way: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can‘t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” In other words, when it comes to facing facts you can’t change, pray for grace and learn to live with them. Why do we need to forgive and forget? Because God says so! You are not designed to carry the physical and mental stress that comes with harboring resentment. Added to which, “You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out” (Gal 6:1 MSG).