"Put the best construction on what others do that you can," my mother would often tell me. I learned what that meant by watching her. She refused to believe others meant to be unkind and insisted on thinking they simply didn't know how they came across. She always tried to understand the other person's perspective.
If a person is impolite and cross-tempered, maybe he is worried or in pain. Maybe he has been misunderstood or been misinformed about something we have said or done. Forgiveness is easier if we try to understand before we allow ourselves to condemn.
"A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense" (Proverbs 19:11). The Wesley Bible comments on this verse, "No attitude is more godly than to forgive or to overlook a wrong.
Love "keeps no records of wrong" (1 Corinthians 13:5), or as the Amplified says, love "takes no account of the evil done to it--pays no attention to a suffered wrong."
The Holy Spirit enables us to respond with His love when we ask. A single mom of two girls had been wronged by her sister. I heard her desperate prayer. "God, if You don't do something for me I can't do for myself, I'm going down and I'm taking my two girls with me."
Instantly, the bitterness against her sister was gone. "Today I can go into her house and know I hold no bitterness toward her," she said with both joy and relief.
Thank You, Lord, for the grace that You always have available for those who refuse to be bitter.
"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many" (Hebrews 12:15).