Recently, I found myself in a moment of conflict between my Christian self and my family self. As a Christian I believe in forgiveness. I believe in active communication. I believe in building bridges. I believe in a love without conditions.
So, what can I do when I witness time and again a "fellow believer" who not only refuses to forgive, but even worse, refuses to give the injured party the opportunity to reach out?
Clearly, this is a violation of the fundamentals of God's message.
God forgave us through Jesus Christ. No questions. No conditions.
As a follower of Christ, I feel compelled to show that same grace to those in my own life, which at times has not been easy. Some people have needed a lot of it. However, I do it very willingly, because I belong to a mission greater than myself. I belong to God, and God love.
1 Corinthians 13 says, "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures though every circumstance." (NLT)
To the people with whom I have this problem, I say you must forgive. You must mend the breach. At the very least, I would implore to stop the gossip. If don't have the courage to say it to targets of your words, then you have no business talking about it to others. They don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear it.
Even if you were as wronged as you claim, you still need to talk through it directly. You owe it to God. You owe it to them. You owe it to yourself.
Colossians 3:13 says, "Make allowance for each other's fault, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." (NLT)
Do the right thing. Mend the breach.