Forgiveness and Love

Has someone ever hurt your feelings? Have you ever been offended by someone’s words or actions? And have you ever felt justified in your hurt to be angry? That it was their wrong and they need to change.

I’ve been there. I think most people have. And you can respond in 1 of 2 ways.

You can be upset. You can allow satan to take that offense and twist it with some truth and lies and create one major wedge between you and said offender. You can “write them off” or ignore them. You can focus on all the things they do wrong and grow bitter, resentful, even hateful towards this person. But let me pose this question, where will that get you?

I can tell you.

Nowhere.

If your response is unforgiving you will stay bitter and resentful which only causes yourself anguish and stress. So I guess it does get you somewhere, but is that where you want to be?

Job 5:2 To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.

Resentment is defined as a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury

Resentment is not something that Jesus promoted. Actually it was the exact opposite that Jesus advocated.

Forgiveness is defined as 1 a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for 2 : to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon

We are told countless times through out scripture to forgive.

Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Proverbs 10:12 Hate stirs up trouble but love forgives all offenses.

That brings us to love. If you love someone you’ll forgive them. And loving people is not an option y’all.

John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

1 John 4:19 We love each other because he loved us first.

1 Corinthians 16:14 Do everything in love.

And Jesus makes it clear that its not just the ones who are easy to love or deserving of our love.

Luke 6:32 & 35 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything back.

I emphasized that last part because I think it’s important to apply not just in terms of “lending”. I believe we should always love without expecting or requiring reciprocation. Remember our example is the cross.

And let me be clear, I am talking about being forgiving of the petty things satan uses to cause dissension among family and friends. I am not addressing urgent or dangerous grievances. For example, if someone is being offensive with behaviors that put you, them or anyone else in physical or emotional danger, or an illegal situation. That most definitely requires professional help.

Recently I got my feelings hurt. I began to discuss the offense with a few people. The more I talked about it the angrier I became. The talking became gossip. Luckily for me, I finally gossiped to the right person and was given counsel I wish I’d have considered on my own. My mom told me to forget about it and pray. When I took this approach this is what God spoke to me.

Proverbs 17:9 Whoever overlooks an offense fosters friendship, but whoever gossips about it separates friends.

Ouch.

Proverbs 19:11 Insightful people restrain their anger; their glory is to ignore an offense.

And for good measure….

Psalm 139:24 Lord see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me into the way everlasting.

Me: But Lord it is so tiresome trying to love someone who continually says and does things that are careless and hurtful.

God: I understand. It’s what I experience every time you grieve me and sin. But I still love you. You aren’t perfect, you make mistakes, but I have always LOVED you. Even to the point of death on a cross, I have loved you.

Psalms 103:10 He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses.

And in case you forgot what love is my child…..

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message) Love cares more for others than for self. Isn’t always “me first”. Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. Is not resentful. Trusts God always. Always looks for the best.

It would have been a lot more productive and edifying had I sought God in prayer right away. Instead I let satan sneak in and undermine my witness to those around me. Fortunately through repentance and forgiveness God also humbled this prideful sinner and I sought the forgiveness of those around me for not exercising the fruit of the Spirit, love, peace, self control just to name a few. God is teaching me and yes I can be a rather slow learner. I used to think if I messed up as a Christian witness there was nothing I could do about it. But I’m learning that its not all a loss to take responsibility for your sins and ask for forgiveness. 🙂

I’ll close this blog with the lyrics from Matthew West song Forgiveness.

It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve

It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real, It takes everything you have just to say the word…

Forgiveness
Forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do. So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees. Help me now to give what You gave to me Forgiveness, Forgiveness

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