One thing that God created us all to have in life is relationships.
And some people seemingly thrive in nearly every relationship they have.
Others seem to struggle in nearly every relationship they have.
Not all that surprisingly, the people who thrive relationally also seem to be some of the happiest people you will ever meet.
And those who struggle, oftentimes are not.
This comparison can at times be reflected in their spiritual well-being as well.
So what makes the difference?
What is it that separates those whose relationships are characterized by much striving, and those whose relationships are characterized by much thriving?
Is there a single, most common factor that determines the difference?
Is there a “secret sauce” to relationships that the first group of people knows or follows, but that the others do not?
Is there something identifiably different about how these two types of people approach relationships?
The simple answer is—YES!
There is One Key Component above all others that will make you the best family member, the best spouse, the best friend or the best co-worker that the people in your life could ever have.
And would you like to know what it is?… Do you think you can you guess what it is?
Have you cheated yet by scrolling to the bottom to find out what it is?
If you want to have the happiest life, and the most successful relationships humanly possible, you must learn to do This One Thing.
Because if you fail to do this, you will struggle with every single relationship of your entire life.
So, are you ready for the answer? Here it is…
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 – For your sakes I FORGIVE in the person of Christ; lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Your willingness to forgive is one of your greatest assets to having great relationships in your life. Because one of the greatest tools in Satan’s toolbox that he uses against us to destroy our relationships is unforgiveness.
Because he knows that unforgiveness plants bitterness, increases discord and breeds division in our relationships.
And that is his ultimate goal in every relationship of your life—to ruin it.
There are only two things in your life and relationships that are guaranteed:
- You will get hurt by others. (So forgive.)
- Others will get hurt by you. (So apologize.)
Jesus said that offenses will come in our relationships, and the only thing that we can do is simply choose how we respond to the hurt. (Whether we are the one that needs to ask for forgiveness, or give it away.)
And the response we choose will ultimately determine the life we live.
Bitter or better. Hurt or healed. Victim or victor.
And the only response that wins every time is forgiveness.
Not anger. Not resentment. Not revenge. Just forgiveness.
Jesus said… “It is impossible but that offenses will come… If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” (Luke 17:1, 3-4)
These are not words that we like to hear or have an easy time practicing, but they are words of truth.
Why is forgiveness so hard? Because:
- Forgiveness requires supernatural power – you can’t forgive without God’s help.
- Forgiveness requires repetition – you’ll most likely have to forgive multiple times.
- Forgiveness requires obedience – you are commanded to forgive, not given multiple options.
Learn to forgive, and you free yourself to live.
Learn to apologize, and you just might save a relationship.
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Lewis Boese
FORGIVE – Fail to do this, and you’ll struggle with nearly every relationship in your life.
Oh, but figure it out, and you have opened the door to a lifetime of relational success—in your family, in your marriage, in your church, on your job, etc.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes
Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
If you’ve hurt someone, it’s time to apologize. If you’ve been hurt by someone, it’s time to forgive.
Which relationship in your life needs this one word the most today? FORGIVE
This article originally appeared here.