Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 18 : Do Unto Others | Day 125

Forgive to Be Forgiven!

A company president worked diligently to build up his business into a large and successful corporation. His products were recognized internationally as the best in their field and everything seemed to be going well for him. As he grew older, he decided to turn the day-to-day management over to his son and continue to oversee the company as chairman of the board. His goal was to have more time for other interests in his life.

A law firm was hired to work out the details, but during the transition things went drastically wrong. The end result was that the father was eliminated from the business entirely and the son was put in complete control. The shock of being pushed out of his own business was a grief, but the source of even greater anguish was the alienation that had surfaced between him and his son. Why did this happen?

Seeds of resentment from the hurts by parents can grow up into a crop of rebellion in the lives of their sons and daughters.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to avoid offenses in our daily interactions with family members. However, these offenses must be quickly identified and forgiven; otherwise, they can fester into deep wounds and cause future grief and sorrow.

Chris and Anne Hogan have had amazing success in helping couples and families identify and resolve offenses by teaching them how to have a "courageous conversation." They begin by giving each person a series of questions to answer and having the other person repeat back exactly what is said. This facilitates true communication and allows the parties involved to hear the perspective of the other person.

During the conversation, the "real" issues will usually surface. For example, in another family business there was alienation between two brothers because the one who had been president was replaced with the other. Hostilities had escalated until there were major barriers, but during a "courageous conversation" the brother who had been replaced said with tears, "The real issue is not the position in the company, but our broken relationship as brothers." They were able to exchange forgiveness and restore fellowship with one another.

Jesus warns that if we do not forgive others, our heavenly Father will not forgive us. (See Matthew 18.)

Every one of us has faults that can be offensive to those around us. Many times we are not even aware of how we have hurt other people. These hurts will often remain undiscovered and unresolved until we humble ourselves and ask others to tell us how we have offended them and then ask for their forgiveness. It is easy to see our need for others to be patient with our faults and to show us forgiveness and love. In turn, it is essential that we maintain a generous attitude of forgiveness towards the faults of others.

God demonstrated His great love for us by forgiving us of all our sins, removing them from us as far as the east is from the west (see Psalm 103:12). In light of all that we have been forgiven, let's follow God's example and readily forgive the offenses of those who have hurt us, especially within our own families.

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard