Proverbs 18:19

A relative offended is harder to reach than a strong city,
and disputes are like the barred gates of a fortified citadel.

It’s a touching scene. Probably the best scene of the whole movie. Sure we love the fact that a Kindergartener is able to fend off a couple of bad guys with icy-hot, tar and micromachines, but the thing we love best about Home Alone is the closing scene where Kevin had been able to facilitate the reunion of Old Man Marley with his son. It probably makes you cry. It doesn’t make me cry, because I’m a real man. But I’m sure you cry like a girl.

Unfortunately, that’s a storyline that is founded in reality. It it not uncommon for families to have some kind of fight and then never speak to one another again. In fact, I would say that it’s become even more common now than it ever has. It’s so commonplace, it’s cliche.

With all the self-centered living that has been condoned and promoted for years and years through society and culture, we just don’t even try to reconcile those relationships anymore. We think we shouldn’t have to. We didn’t do anything wrong, they did. They should have to come to us, and if they’re not willing to apologize then why should I bother trying to spend any time with them ever again?

The sad thing is that it’s become over smaller and smaller things that the walls go up. It used to be over big things. Like a brother had an affair with his brother’s wife. Or someone borrowed a bunch of money and then never paid it back. You can probably think of a hundred scenarios that could lead to a family split. But now, they’re much smaller things. They seem judgmental about the way I eat or about the way I raise my kids. They looked at me funny. They said something that I took out of context, so I’m not going to try to be nice to them anymore. I’m sure there are even more ridiculous, petty things that have broken up families.

What ever happened to being gracious to each other? Sure, it’s painful when someone offends us. It’s painful when someone does something that hurts us. And I don’t think we need to be door mats for people to walk all over. However, we’re all stupid humans who do stupid things. For every stupid thing that’s been done to you, you’ve done something stupid to someone else. Some of us have done more stupid things to others than have been done to us.

The point is, we should be gracious with one another. We should be forgiving. We shouldn’t keep records of wrong and have a rap sheet a mile long against someone. Get over it. Seriously. Get over it and move on. Life is too short to spend your days stewing about the bad things people have done to you. Get over it and enjoy today. Look for ways to forgive and be gracious. Tear down the walls that you have put up between you and the people that have hurt you.

If you don’t, you’ll find yourself in city where the only citizen is you, with walls so high no one else can get in.