It is tough to live with negative feelings, at least for me. The recent episode of conflict between Clarissa and me has made me examined my relationship with God and thanked Him for His forgiveness, especially for each of my repetitive failings. In addition, I could see the good that this has brought upon Clarissa. A few months ago, she was so upset by Joseph (ie the usual annoyance that a little boy could bestow on his big sister) that she had started to keep a journal of the wrongdoings that he had done!
"For all the misery he had caused me, I will no longer buy anything for him from my school, not even a sticker or an eraser!" she exclaimed infuriatingly. "What if he pleads for forgiveness?" I asked, feeling sorry for my mischievous boy. "He doesn't mean it (the apologies) as he will start annoying me all over again!" she answered adamantly. I tried to show her some bible verses about forgiveness but to no avail.
Finally, God gave me an excellent opportunity to teach her about forgiveness. One day at the start of our tutoring session, she had agreed to be well behaved but within 10 minutes, she was slamming her pencil, giving me her usual "bad attitude" treatment. "You see, you have promised to be good but failed. And if I were to keep a record of all your misbehaviour like the way you did for Joseph, I could also deprive you of many things. Therefore, it is important that you forgive your brother, just as I am going to forgive you." I said seizing the opportunity. Immediately, she was quiet. In fact, from that day on, she had stopped keeping track of what Joseph had done to her although her complains remained.
More importantly, as a parent, I recognize the need to draw on God's infinite resources of love and forgiveness so that I could carry on loving her, in the presence of conflicts.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)