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Psalm 78:38-39 But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins and did not destroy them; many times he held back his anger and did not permit his wrath to be roused. For he remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that goes forth and does not return.
A word scan of this passage reveals three past-tense verbs to describe God’s compassion: “forgave,” “held,” and “remembered.” These three verbs present a fine pattern to follow when we are tempted to foster bad feelings about another person or group. We can forgive, whether or not our emotions tell us we can. We can hold ourselves from harming others, with words or actions. We can remember that people are indeed vulnerable and mortal.
God shows compassion, seeing them for what they are: creatures in need of a little understanding. Since God does that, maybe we should, too.
MOVING FORWARD: How can you incorporate the actions of forgive, hold back, and remember in your life?