We’ve all heard of the silent treatment. We all know the sadness and guilt we feel when we’re on the receiving end of it. On the other end, we’ve also experienced the anger and pain that build up when we cut someone out of our life or decide to choose bitterness over forgiveness.

Silence can result in guilt, regret, sadness, and so much more. When we don’t confront a problem or simply ignore it, the result is almost always worse than what it would’ve been if we would’ve given up silence as a boundary in the first place.

Think about this situation for example. You and your roommates are in a fight, and instead of confronting the problem, you allow it to build up over time and continue to sweep it under the rug. This can either make the problem worse, or never solve anything in the long run… Neither are the outcome you would want!

God looks at these situations and wants us to extend love, forgiveness, and patience. When we approach conflict the way God does, the outcome will be better every single time.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

God sent his one and only son to pay the price for our sins. He forgives us instantly, without holding a grudge or keeping a track record. So, why wouldn’t we do the same for other people?

This reminds me of the story from the Bible of Peter asking Jesus about forgiveness.

Matthew 18:21-22 says, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

 Jesus then preaches the parable of the unforgiving debtor. The story tells of a king discussing the debt of his servants. One in particular owed the king millions and millions of dollars, but had little to no money to repay him. The servant begged for the king to forgive him, and the king was filled with pity for him. He released the servant and forgave him of his debt.

But when the servant left, he came across a man that owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded him to pay him the money. When the king heard about this, he threw the servant in jail until he had paid his entire debt.

Matthew 18:35 says, “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

God doesn’t just want us to swallow our pride and forgive others, he demands it. We can’t go through life holding grudges and using silence as a barrier. In the end, this solves nothing, leaving us angrier than we were before.

Take these lessons from the Bible and apply them to your life. Once we start taking Jesus’s advice on how to resolve conflict, life will go a whole smoother!

– Chelsea