"Then Peter approaching asked him, 'Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.'" -Mt 18:21
The small injustices of family life can leave us with a short fuse. Unfortunately, it’s usually our closest loved ones who are on the receiving end of our frustrations and anger. We become resentful of these injustices whether they are intentional or innocent mistakes by those we love.
Just the other morning, my daughter became inpatient and annoyed with a sibling who was singing while she was reading. Oftentimes, I hear the dreaded complaint from a child that it’s not fair they didn’t receive the same amount of screen time as their sibling.
While I get frustrated and annoyed to see it in my children, the same is true of my own heart. The times I lose my temper with the kids because it seems as soon as I clean up one area, another mess grows somewhere else. Or, when my husband has another early meeting which means another early morning for me too. I find myself getting resentful even when that meeting is a prayer group! Yikes! Now, that is hard to admit and put into writing. My own selfishness gets in the way of truly loving my spouse.
I don’t think until we realize the ugliness and selfishness of our own sins, can we even start to appreciate God’s great love and mercy for us. He holds no grudges. When we repent and ask for forgiveness, He freely gives it. No conditions.
Why can’t I provide more grace and mercy with others? Why am I so quick to lash out with these petty injustices? I’ve come to realize that I can’t by myself. I need to seek Jesus’ help in prayer. When I find myself in a frustrating situation, I’m trying to remember to pray first before opening my mouth. I remember Jesus’ infinite mercy and ask Him to make my heart more like His.
What instances in your family life do you find yourself resentful of injustices?
How have you felt God’s love and forgiveness in your own life?
What steps can you take to better share God’s mercy with others?