Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 NLT
We make lots of allowances in life. If we're going on a trip, we might make allowance for the heavy traffic that we know we're going to face on the way. We give ourselves extra time because we expect we're going to run into it. Many of us also make allowances in our budget/spending. We've come to realize that unexpected things come up in life that aren't part of our thought-out spending plan. The freezer dies, the car breaks down, the kids have a growth spurt and need new clothes. We make allowance for these things by maybe setting aside some funds in a 'miscellaneous' category. Because we are expecting it, we're able to deal with it a whole lot better when it happens.
But there's one area of life that many of us do not give any allowance to: people's offenses against us. We don't anticipate people potentially disappointing us or rubbing us the wrong way. We don't consider in advance that we live in a fallen world and the chances of us getting offended by another person are pretty high. We don't make allowance and so we aren't ready to respond properly when it happens.
Now, making allowance for people's faults against us doesn't excuse or justify them. What it does do, though, is cushion us in the process. It helps us be patient and select our words wisely in that moment. It guards us from getting bitter toward them and helps us forgive faster. And it reminds us that God has made MUCH allowance toward us as He forgives us all day long. If He remembers that we are dust and imperfect and forgives us, then we should do the same for others - and hope that they will do the same for us when we offend them.