Today is remembrance day. It is the day which we hope ended war forever in the main countries of Europe. It is a day for silence, contemplation, and gratitude. The thought that strikes me is that what is true of nations is also true of individuals. We war and fight with one another, and just as a small event all those years ago erupted into a major war that engulfed the globe, so in our personal relationships small disagreements can spread and sour entire families. In personal relationships, as with war, we have to know when to confront, but also when to simply let a matter lie.
I was challenged again to think—how often do I simply overlook an imagined offence committed against me, and how often do I self-righteously believe I am helping another by pointing out their weaknesses? The Scriptures seem clear that we should overlook a whole lot more of these offences than it is our natural tendency to do. Let me share a few of them with you:
- The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out. (Proverbs 17:14)
- Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offence (Proverbs 19:11).
- The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult (Proverbs 12:16).
- It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling (Proverbs 20:3).
- Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).