“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

Overview

It always feels good when you are forgiven for something you did that hurt someone else.  Even if you are very unhappy about something that person did.  When you forgive another person for something they did to you, it releases you from the stress of the situation and allows you to move forward without feeling the pain caused by the other person. The other person may not change their attitude toward you, but you will move on knowing that you did not cause more harm to the situation.   

On the other hand, sometimes forgiving another person causes the other person to think positively about you and leads to positive experiences.

Example

Randy with his customers

Bill is a website developer who supports wholesale businesses.  Bill creates features for wholesale websites that make it easier for customers to identify, purchase, and pay for products and services.  He specializes in creating websites that display products with high-quality descriptions and generate high google ratings.

Randy manages a company that sells business system software with an integrated wholesale website.  Frequently, Randy contracts Bill to improve the quality of the integrated website. 

One of Randy’s customers complained to him that the website was displaying the wrong prices for some customers.  Randy told the customer that Bill was responsible for all displays on the website and the customer needed to contact Bill. 

The customer was so upset that they entered negative reviews of Bill’s company on several service review websites.  The negative reviews had a major impact on Bill’s business. 

When Bill reviewed the website, he learned that the issue was not with the website at all.  The pricing assigned to the customers was created in the base system and accessed by the website.  Bill was so angry with Randy that he was going to drop him as a client and send a message to all the previous customers regarding the incident with incorrect pricing.

Prior to sending any messages, Bill attended a Bible Study class that covered the Book of Matthew, Chapter 6.  He thought about the situation and then talked with his wife.  They decided that Bill’s initial reaction was not good for him, the customer, or Randy.  After discussing the details with his wife, he decided to call Randy and discuss the entire episode. 

Bill called Randy and explained to him that the issue was with the base system, not the website.  Bill said that he understood how Randy made the mistake and he was OK that Randy made a mistake. Bill said he wanted to work together to always provide the best service for the customers.

Randy was so impressed with Bill that he called the customer and convinced him to send a retraction to the websites where the negative reviews were posted. 

Both Bill and Randy benefited from Bill taking more time before reacting to a negative situation. 

Summary

Of course, the outcome will not always be as positive as the one with Bill and Randy.  However, following Christian Lessons as a guide for personal and business relationships will reduce your stress. 

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.