Spiritual Practice

2 Sides to the Story

Andrea Maxfield

I have always had a problem with forgiveness. I have a hard time seeing things from another person’s point of view. In To Kill a Mockingbird, a book I read recently, one of the underlying these was about judging other people: Before you judge a person, take a walk in his or her shoes. When I am struggling with a forgiveness issue, I usually consider only the hurt I am feeling. But as always, there are two sides to the story. I have to ask myself questions like: Did this person mean to hurt me? Am I getting upset over nothing? Was I partly at fault? Once I’ve calmed down and looked at both sides of the situation, I almost always find a way to forgive.

Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you.
Luke 6:37b (CEV)

Forgiveness isn’t easy, but it helps when I remember that there are two sides. I have learned to find out important information before forming an opinion of others. Experience has shown me that if i put out the effort to become friends again, the other person might return the favor at another time.


REFLECT: Are you having a problem forgiving someone? Would it help you to look at the situation from that person’s point of view?

—from devozine (November/December 1996). Copyright © 1996 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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