Because Jesus was loving, merciful and compassionate, some people get the idea He was soft. He was not.
Remember He commanded, not suggested, we love. He told us we “must” love one another. He was serious.
“A new Command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Jesus addressed the core of Love when He told us to forgive. Forgiveness is a Gift of Love that truly keeps giving.
God is willing to forgive us, but it is a conditional Promise. Jesus didn’t mince words about The Principles of Forgiveness.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Our extension of Mercy and Grace to others opens the gates wide for God’s Mercy and Grace to flow back to us. Our refusal to forgive others locks those gates shut.
Even when we know forgiving is the right thing to do, we may have a hard time doing it.
Sometimes we say begrudgingly, “I’ll forgive them, but I’ll never forget.” However, true forgiveness does involve forgetting the offense.
If we are to forgive as God does, then we must follow His Standard.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
We may try to forget, but because the offense seems attached to the person, every time we think of the person, we remember their sin.
We may try to deal with this dilemma by trying to forget the person. But even if they are not in our life anymore, memories creep in. What can we do?
The heart of forgiveness is remembering in Love the person who sinned against us. God forgets sin, but He never forgets the person who He frees from the sin.
Think of how we correct a mistake when we type the wrong word on our computer. We hit delete and type what we want.
If we type the same thing, the mistake will be back in front of us. If we type something different, the new word will appear.
In the same way, if we deliberately remember the person, but we attach new words to describe them, things will change.
I invite you to read my last post on “Overflowing with God’s Love.” Begin by letting God’s Love flow through you.
You will then be the vessel through which God works to bring about change in the other person. You are planting seeds of Love in faith.
Choose to let go of anything the person did in the past. Choose to trust that God’s Awesome Power will work in their present lives, so they never again bring pain to anyone else.
Release that person in Mercy and Grace. Relinquish any desire to control the outcome of what God will do. You will know about the change in your own heart. You may never know of the change in the other person.
You are calling for Love, not based on what you see in that person or even in yourself. You are calling for God to make visible somewhere in the world the person He created in Love.
How do you remember the person and attach them to Love? Let’s practice.
Begin with the suggestion from the last post. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 using God’s Name, I AM. Let God tell you who you are in Love.
Then think of the other person and read out loud who they are in Love. We will use the name, John, as an example.
John is patient.
John is kind.
John does not envy.
John does not boast.
John is not proud.
John does not dishonor others.
John is not self seeking.
John is not easily angered.
John keeps no records of wrongs.
John does not delight in evil, but John rejoices with The Truth.
John always protects.
John always trusts.
John always hopes.
John always perseveres.
God’s Love in John never fails!
In God’s Love, we find we are connected, even if we are not physically together anymore. God’s Love at work anywhere is a step toward The Mission to which God is calling us.
Jesus prayed to His Father that we would all be one with Them.
” … that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent Me and have loved them as You loved Me.”
Forgiveness is the heart of Love!