If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

I’ve used these words from Matthew’s Gospel hundreds of times on my kids. I’ve used them so often, in fact, that they’ll probably swear it was thousands. Either way, it was a lot. I wanted to impress upon them the importance of not holding grudges and of trying to see things from the other person’s perspective. Likely, that’s because my own temperament causes me to have that tendency.

“Your brother hit you? Well…guess what Jesus says you must do.

“I’m sorry your sister broke your kite. But, how would you feel if you broke something of hers? Wouldn’t you wish she would forgive you and give you a chance to replace it?

“So what if your brother grumped at you. Are you always in the best of moods? Just let it go.”

Although I’m not always completely successful, I try very hard to see things the other person’s way before I react to their behavior. Re-reading our Lord’s words today makes me realize that doing it sometimes isn’t enough. I’ve got to strive to do it every time. For as much forgiveness as I’m willing to give to others, God will be willing to give to me.

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