“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18, NIV)
Regret is the debris of yesterdays’ mistakes. I know this is true because, after seventy-one years of life, I’ve experienced many yesterdays and a lot of mistakes. Spoken, hurtful words I can’t take back, actions causing other people pain, and misunderstandings left unresolved just to name a few trappings of our human nature. Friend, are you able to identify with my situation, because if so, how are we to deal with our dilemma?
Unless we choose to live as a hermit, we must interact with people every day. Perhaps you live with someone or lots of someones in your family; spend time with a co-worker or friend. Maybe your only outing today is at the grocery store or other shopping places. Wherever people are, opportunities exist that challenge our humanity. Some personalities are prickly like a porcupine. No matter who crosses their path they manage to poke and grate on everyone’s nerves. Sometimes, misunderstandings over something someone does or says create hurtful feelings either by or to us.
On our way through security leaving Africa, (I told you there would be stories to share!) my son-in-law remained with me to help, but as his family entered the passport station, he joined them. As he passed the couple in front of me, the man angrily confronted him for cutting in line. My son-in-law smiled and explained the situation but to no good end. I immediately saw the Sharp family sitting in a cold, damp cell somewhere deep in a continent, never to be heard from again! We moved onward, and I’m here to tell you this story, so “All’s well that ends well.” By the way, the last time I saw our “friend,” he was being detained for some reason.
A few years ago, I heard something I will never forget. “Keep short accounts!” In other words, as soon as I realize disharmony exists in “my world,” I should do everything possible to make it right. You and I cannot always “make right” difficult circumstances, but God instructs us to at least try to our best ability. Once we give our utmost effort, with God’s help, we can all move on.
Let’s offer to others what has been given freely to us, GRACE.