How can a relationship ever heal, if we read every action of the other person through the lens of their past failures?  Even their most sincere attempts at deeper reconciliation will be dismissed as empty ploys.  For healing to occur we must be willing to forgive, let go of past offenses, and give others the benefit of the doubt when they appear to act in kindness.  “Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all offenses” (Proverbs 10:12; cf. 1 Peter 4:8).  Love is to “believe all things” and “hope all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).  If we are “too wise” to believe or hope the best of another in love we will also be “too wise” to fulfill Christ’s command to love others as we would have them love us (Matthew 7:12).

Consider for a moment what our own plight would be if Christ only received us when our motives were 100% perfect and the appearance of our actions flawless.  Even our most sincere repentance and worship would be rejected.  Our only hope of reception with God is His grace.  His love takes the initiative both to atone for our sins and to receive us as flawed as we are.  We, in turn, are commanded to love like Him (Ephesians 5:1-2; Colossians 3:13-14; John 13:34; 15:12).  Our only hope for finding healing – and extending healing – amidst wounded relationships is to receive and reflect the love of the Great Physician Himself.