Physical injuries may range from minor cuts to deep wounds, and not all require the same degree of attention. It is similar with injured feelings—some wounds are deeper than others. Do we really need to make an issue over every minor bruise we suffer in our relationships with others? Minor irritations, slights, and annoyances are a part of life and do not necessarily require formal forgiveness. If we are known as someone who shuns others for every petty disappointment and who then insists that they apologize before we will treat them in a civil way again, we may force them to tread softly around us—or to keep a safe distance!
The Bible contains this further piece of advice: “Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely.” (Colossians 3:13) The expression “continue putting up with one another” suggests being patient with others, tolerating the traits we may find irritating. Such forbearance can help us to avoid nursing petty grudges. “Forgiving” conveys the idea of letting go of resentment. Our wise God knows that we need to forgive others when there is sound basis for doing so. This is not only for their benefit but also for our own peace of mind and heart. (Luke 17:3, 4) What wisdom is found in God’s Word!