The Principle of Suffering: Seeing how reaction to offenses produces fuel, not resolution, for ongoing detriment, and discovering how to transform bitterness into genuine forgiveness
When someone offends you, your response can lead to the bondage of bitterness or the freedom of forgiveness. You might be surprised by the far-reaching results of your attitudes and actions!
Although you cannot completely avoid suffering that comes as a consequence of others’ sin, you can choose to give your pain to the Lord, forgive the one who hurt you, and conquer the temptation to become bitter. Bitterness, hate, unforgiveness, and resentment will only bring you more suffering. These destructive qualities will also defile others in your life (see Hebrews 12:14–15). However, when you put your trust and hope in the Lord to bring comfort and healing, God is able to bring good out of evil if we will submit to Him and give Him the authority in our lives to redeem it for His higher purposes.
Throughout the pages of Scripture, principles are contained that provide guidance for our personal lives and relationships. These principles touch on every relational sphere of life, whether it be marriage, family, business, church, or government. All relationships encounter conflict at some point, and if this conflict is not resolved, psychological, spiritual, and even physical damage can result. But when we discover that our conflicts are connected to violations of God’s principles, and we learn to adhere to these principles through the power of the Holy Spirit, a resolution can be experienced that produces peace in our daily interactions. When we learn to see and respond to life’s challenges from God’s viewpoint, and choose His grace over our natural inclination, everything changes!