I have noticed that a lot of people in my life, including myself, have recently been hurt or offended by something someone said. This seems to be a common trial. I had already decided to write a post on this topic when I heard Elder Uchtdorf’s talk, “The Merciful Obtain Mercy.” This talk perfectly explains what I needed to say. I recommend reading the whole talk. I will just quote parts of it.

When we feel hurt, angry, or envious, it is quite easy to judge other people, often assigning dark motives to their actions in order to justify our own feelings of resentment. . . . when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that, in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt.

These comments help remind me that I don’t have all the information and that my judgment is often not reliable. I don’t know what is in someone else’s heart. When I remind myself of this, when I remind myself of other’s humanity, it is easier for me to forgive them for their hurtful comments or swallow my pride.

Elder Uchtdorf gives wonderful advice for how we can increase our ability to forgive.

We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. . . . The more we allow the love of God to govern our minds and emotions—the more we allow our love for our Heavenly Father to swell within our hearts—the easier it is to love others with the pure love of Christ. As we open our hearts to the glowing dawn of the love of God, the darkness and cold of animosity and envy will eventually fade.

I admit that I am not always capable of loving my neighbor and forgiving easily. But I am good at loving God and when I think about making an effort to increase my love for Him, I can easily say, “I can do that.” So if increasing my love for God will help me love my neighbor more, then maybe I can do that to.

http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/the-merciful-obtain-mercy?lang=eng

Advertisements