Love & Forgiveness

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” The other day I was thinking about love and what it is. As Christians, we have a biblical understanding of love and with that said we turn to 1 Corinthians 13 where it gives us a clear definition and states what love is and what love is not. Verse 5 says that love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not hold grudges or condemns; it forgives.

Forgiveness is the action or process of forgiving. To forgive means to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake. Forgiveness is a verb which means it is an action. Forgiveness is intentional and of free will where we change our heart and feelings towards the person who offended us and the hurtful emotions that developed during the offense. When one forgives, the offense no longer blocks connection, community, or intimacy in the relationship. This is why the Bible states: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14).

Because of God’s great love, He forgave us through Jesus Christ. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And because of this we are able to be in an intimate relationship with Him.

IMG_1376Forgiveness and keeping no records of wrongs is a struggle. There are relationships in my life that has not grown because I am holding on to the offense, the pain, and fear. Who convicts me most of this sin in my heart, is my cute adorable blessing; my puppy Hannanese. She is a small toy dog. If I am not careful and mindful of where she is, I can step on her and sad to say I have stepped on her by accident a couple of times. My heart hurts so much when I hear her squeal in pain. When this happens I find myself dropping to the floor, saying sorry, and checking her out to make sure she is OK. The humbling thing is that right after I hurt her, Hannanese doesn’t hold it against me. She immediately turns on her belly asking for belly rubs, then jumps up and runs around wanting me to play with her. After hurting her, she still wants to be with me, she still  wants to play with me, and she still wants to give me kisses. Hannanese keeps no record of my wrongs, no record of the pain I caused her. Her forgiveness allows us to still connect, to build a relationship, and have fun.

Needless to say, God is using my little one to remind me to forgive quickly, to model forgiveness, and to convict me to love like Christ. Who do you need to forgive and love? Pray that God heals the hurt and fear you are holding on to that hinders your forgiveness.