Pride and Forgiveness

Today’s reading is Proverbs 16-18 and Romans 15.

Understanding others is a difficult thing.  As individuals, we have opinions, preferences, life experiences, and beliefs that dictate how we react to various situations.  Emotions dictate how we process challenging relationships, challenging people and circumstances that may be difficult or maybe even impossible to understand.

In fact, our emotions many times dictate entirely how we react.

Are you hurt?  Are you sad?  Are you angry? Are you disappointed?  Are you tired of (fill in the blank)?

Factoring in emotions, we then layer on the type of person that we are having trouble with.

Are they family?  Are they your spouse?  Are they your co-worker?  Are they your boss?  Are they your neighbor?

Our reaction to be upset or mad may differ depending on our relationship with the individual(s). Friends can sometimes be just like family.  Family can sometimes feel like they don’t know or understand you, or perhaps never tried to.  Bosses put you in a nearly impossible situation as your livelihood may depend on maintaining or preserving your relationship.  And nothing speaks to being more uncomfortable than when you must see your neighbor every day at the mailbox or retrieving their trash cans.  Envy, jealously, resentment, rage, hurt…. all emotions that produce a person’s reaction.

Romans 15:5 says, “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded toward one another, according to Jesus Christ.”

The wonderful thing about our faith in Jesus Christ is that through the scriptures and His example, we can model our lives after Jesus, who was the only perfect person to live on earth.  We can know that Jesus walked this earth and experienced emotions like pain, suffering, sadness, temptation, disappointment, and yes, even anger.  Through all this, Jesus still loved everyone that He encountered, and He witnessed to the worst of the thieves, tax collectors, and prostitutes to save them from a life of sin and sadness.

Proverbs 16:18-19 says, 18 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

So back to understanding others.  The truth is we may never know why a friend or family member is so unhappy.  We all react or respond differently to pain and adversity. Sometimes with anger and rage, sometimes with humility and reverence. What can we control?  What can we not control?

Let us react to others with humility and a kind heart. Set pride aside. Let us address the sin and haste of others with empathy rather than rage and be patient rather than vengeful.  Let us love one another unconditionally, admonishing the sin and not the sinner. Let us lead with humility and forgiveness and be cautious of pride.

“Pride is the mother hen under which all other sins are hatched,” – CS Lewis.

The grace and peace of our Lord knows no boundaries.  The worst of relationships and bad situations have proven to be overcome through faith in Jesus Christ.  The unimaginable is achieved. Let us lean on our faith and purpose to forgive others and help them through their pain, not letting it impact us as well. The true peace and mercy that comes over us in transgressions of others can only be granted and given by God.

Published by

Chad Bandy

I am a Jesus follower, husband, and father. I am a work in progress who tries to be better each and every day, with the help of Christ.