June 23, 2012


1 Peter 4:7-11

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
—Proverbs 17:9


Mindy was a new visitor at Grace Church. Helen, a lifetime member, invited Mindy to do a Bible study with her. Mindy happily agreed but forgot to meet Helen at the time they had set. Helen was disappointed but didn’t gripe to others about it, and she arranged with Mindy to meet at another time. That meeting led to a fruitful mentoring relationship—and sometime later, not without some ups and downs, Mindy came to know the Lord.

In many situations, the best way to resolve a conflict is to cover over the wrong and let go of the frustration it can cause. When faced with another person’s failure or offense, we should ask ourselves, “Is this worth fighting about?”

Overlooking is not the same as letting others treat you like a doormat. It’s a godly, active, strong response to minor offenses. It imitates God’s mercy, patience, and kindness to us. It is a form of forgiveness in which you put the problem behind you without making a fuss about it.

Some conflicts should not be overlooked—for example, when there is abuse of other people or there is behavior that clearly dishonors God. But overlooking small difficulties produces peace in our relationships, as we obey Jesus’ command to “do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12). What should you overlook today?

Lord of mercy, I often make a big deal out of a small problem. Fill me with your kindness and compassion, and show me when I need to overlook and let go. Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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