"Who has a brother or sister" (hands go up)
"Keep you hand up if they have said or done something mean to you before" (every hand stays up)
"Who has a Mum/Dad? (hands go up)
"Keep you hand up if they have said or done something mean before" (every hand stays up)
"Who has children?" (hands go up)...
We all got the point..! Families are wonderful places, but when you get sinful people living so closely with each other, we can rub each other up the wrong way. Worse than that, we can really hurt each other. So what do we do? The Bible is very clear:
"Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you"
Through dying on the cross, Jesus offers full forgiveness to everyone who comes to him. If we have received that forgiveness, we now need to offer it out to others.
This always feels like a hard thing to do. It's naive to assume forgiveness is easy- after all, look at what it cost Jesus. But learning to forgive within our families is perhaps the key ingredient that will prevent a family from tearing itself apart. Sadly this can happen far too easily.
In church on Sunday, we practiced the two key phrases we need to get very good at saying in family life
1. I'm sorry
2. That's ok
So simple. So hard. So good. A sign of God's work in our lives is an ability to own our mistakes and confess them to each other, and to offer real forgiveness when others make mistakes against us.
So let's work hard to make our church family and our nuclear families places where we often ask for an offer forgiveness.