Meet my respected friend Kit Coons. As humorous speakers specializing in strengthening relationships, Kit and Drew Coons have spoken all over the US and in 39 other countries. They have published many articles and are the authors of four novels and six Bible studies on difficult topics. They are keen cultural observers and incorporate their many adventures into their writing and speaking. The Coonses are unique in that they speak and write as a team. You can learn more on their website https://morethanordinarylives.com/
As my guest, Kit agreed to share her recent post from http://kitcoons.blogspot.com/
Forgiveness: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
“Do you remember what you tell everyone at the conference about how to handle conflict?” I confronted Drew? “No ‘you’ statements, stick to one issue, don’t bring up the past, no personal attacks.”
Not surprisingly, that didn’t get a good response. But then, I didn’t respond well either when I heard Drew say,
“Excuse me. What about how you tell everyone to give a blessing for an insult? I don’t think your accusation was a blessing.”
Drew and I have had the privilege to teach biblical principles of relationships for many years. Undoubtedly, teaching those principles has enriched our marriage. But at times we’ve wished we had never heard those principles. Knowing and doing are two vastly different things. I had been caught by my own words, and there is nothing worse. Well, actually there is. When we refuse to look at our behavior, admit our fault, and extend forgiveness, the consequences are far greater.
Living in harmony together is no small task. And the challenge is not limited to one country or people. Part of the joy Drew and I receive from international travel is the opportunity to see the universality of marriage. Because of different cultures, marriage may look different. But men and women’s hearts are the same wherever you go. We all struggle with how to live in harmony with other people, even those we love.
After one time of disharmony in our relationship, Drew came to me to ask forgiveness. But as he thought about his words, he said,
“I’ve actually come to express regret.I know you have already forgiven me.” He was right. I had forgiven him shortly after the words were spoken because I have learned that to not forgive only hurts me.
God does the same thing. His forgiveness was made available to us when He died for our sins. When I come to Him after I have chosen to sin, I come to express my regret. I know He has already forgiven me. My sin cannot take His forgiveness away. Nevertheless, expressing our regret to another person or to God is the way to restore our relationship.
Forgiveness is the glue that holds any relationship together. In our relationship with God, His forgiveness makes the relationship possible. In our relationships with others, forgiveness also makes the relationship possible. Is there someone that needs your forgiveness? Well, really is there someone you need to forgive for your own good? Now would be the perfect time to extend your forgiveness.
Research has shown that the ability to forgive is the foremost reason a person will have a happy life. I agree.