Love is… FORGIVING!
Welcome to Day 7 of our “Love Is…” Series. So far, we’ve learned about patience, kindness, not being rude, jealousy, pride, being boastful, being demanding, and irritability. I hope it is helpful and that you are learning something new, or at least brushing up on what you already know. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to either email me or put a comment in the section below.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
In the verse above, it states that love keeps no record of being wronged. This means that love is forgiving. When you love someone, offending them is unavoidable. I’m not saying that it should happen often, because it shouldn’t; however, you guys will not always agree and you will most likely do something to hurt your mate’s feelings. Though this may occur, the only thing that matters is that you forgive each other.
According to Merriam-Webster, the word “forgive” is defined as follows:
- to give up resentment of or to claim to requital for
- to grant relief from payment of
- to cease to feel resentment against(an offender)
- to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong): to stop blaming (someone)
Forgiveness is not only for the other person; it is mainly for you.
At the end of the day, if God were to come down today and you had forgiven a friend and they had not forgiven you, you would end up in heaven and God would tell your friend that they should’ve had a forgiving heart. I’m not saying that you will go to hell if you don’t forgive, but it is something that can hinder your chances. God calls us to forgive. He tells us if someone slaps us, we should turn the other cheek and that if someone offends us, “70 times 7.”
If Jesus of allll people was able to forgive after being beaten, cut up, spit on and all sorts of things, how much less you? You are not above God. Jesus went through all of these challenges in order to understand us and show us a perfect example despite the obstacles. If Jesus was able to endure the most gruesome encounter, then we have no choice but to forgive just as He did.
Forgiveness brings freedom and a sound mind. I’m sure we all know how we feel when we refuse to forgive people. It’s almost like we see them coming around and if we had the biggest smile, our smile would turn upside down and our eyes would begin to roll. We would either give attitude or flat out ignore someone just to let them know that we are not cool with them. – When you let all of this go, you become free and feel liberated. Whether you want to admit it or not, holding a grudge takes a lot of energy. It takes so much emotion to remain firm on such a decision, and it’s a lot of work to maintain it. Forgiving allows you to stop putting up a negative persona and it allows you to break free and be the positive influence God has called you to be.
I know forgiveness is tough. It’s been tough for me as well at many times in my life. It’s something that I continue to work on all the time. Forgiveness is tough because the hurt or the pain is caused by someone that is close to you. It’s normally from someone you respected or trusted, and you would’ve never thought that they would hurt you. We need to get away from that mindset because I find it very hard to hold a grudge against a complete stranger, and so what does that leave you with? It leaves you with friends and family. It’s difficult to hold a grudge against a stranger because you do not have any relationship with them.
Let’s learn to make forgiveness a habit. When it comes to relationships, things get very personal. Everything is case-by-case and the depth of the pain caused depends on each situation. I’ve come to realize that when I truly love someone, it hurts for me to stay mad at them. They are too important to me that not speaking to them for days or weeks or months is just impossible. It’s something that I just can’t do. Also, it’s not everyone that will acknowledge that they’ve hurt your feelings and apologize, and so sometimes you just have to forgive even when an apology is not offered, but you should do this for love. If it’s not for love, you probably wouldn’t be driven to do so. That’s the point. Love be shouldn’t only be for those that are friends or family. It should be for all of mankind. The Lord tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. That doesn’t matter if they are related to us or not, the compassion we have towards those we know personally should be the same for those we do not know. God didn’t only love his mother and father, His love extended to everyone.
At the end of the day, no one is perfect. Do you realize that you also offend people from time to time? Do you take a moment to think about the fact that people also have to take a moment and forgive you as well? I bet you didn’t even think of it that way, but you should. Maybe this will cause you to think twice before you refuse to forgive someone. Don’t hinder your blessings just because you want to be stubborn. God will refuse to answer your prayers. Your destiny is much more important and so don’t put that in jeopardy. It’s not worth it.
God loves you.