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Love is Forgiving

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)

I have to be honest I am a score keeper.  If someone hurts me, I want to hurt them … or I wish that they would get what they deserve by something bad happening to them.  I know, I am sick and need help, but thankfully, I am learning about how important forgiveness is and how it affects me.

Today we’re talking about the fact that Love is Forgiving.  If we are going to have the face of love, we are going to have to understand why forgiveness is important.  Today, I want to give you 3 big reasons.

WHY IS FORGIVENESS IMPORTANT?

  • It makes me right with GOD!

Sometimes we look at our life and we say, “I am not that bad.” I haven’t stolen anything, killed anyone, or been arrested.  The worst thing I may have done is told a white lie or cheated on a test.  I’m not that bad. however, regardless of how good we are the Bible says,

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

You see all of us have the same problem, we can never be good enough on our own to meet God’s standard.  But the good news is that Jesus steps on the scene and changes everything.

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 (NLT)

When we understand that Jesus would come and die a painful death, so we could experience forgiveness and have a relationship with God, it helps us realize how important forgiveness is and allows us to see how much we need a Savior.  God offers forgiveness to anyone that asks.  The Bible says,

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9 (NLT)

No matter what we have done, God can and will forgive us when we confess our sins to Him and repent from them.  Why is forgiveness important … because it makes us right with God.

  • It makes me right with MYSELF!

Many times I am my own worst enemy.  I’ll lay in bed at night and replay over and over the things that I despise about myself.  I’ll ask God to forgive me, but for some reason, I can’t seem to forgive myself.

But here is what I am learning, when I ask God to forgive me … He does.  He forgives me no matter what I have done.  But not only does he forgive … the Bible says that he forgets that thing I have asked forgiveness of.  Look what it says,

“And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” Hebrews 8:12 (NLT)

You see God is much different than we are.  Once we ask for forgiveness, He forgets about it. But for some sick reason, we like to play it over and over and over in our heads and we never experience the true freedom that forgiveness offers.

Listen, the next time you’re reminded about something you have asked God to forgive, just remember Hebrews 8:12 and remind yourself that God has forgiven and forgotten that sin.  Then begin to reprogram those thoughts so you can experience  the freedom that forgiveness offers.

  • It makes me right with OTHERS!

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”  Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT)

Sometimes people will do messed up things.  Their selfishness can cause us great pain.  Their words and actions can cut us deeply and I’ve learned that sometimes it’s the people closest to us that hurt us the most. When things like this happen typically our first response is anger.  We hold a grudge and want to lash out at them.  We want to hurt them like they have hurt us.

But Forgiveness does something different.  When we choose to admit that that was messed up, that we have been wronged, then, we can truly forgive them.  Despite our own hurt and pain, we can choose to forgive and experience Gods Supernatural Peace.  Sometimes we never experience this, because we hang on to the hurt and pain caused by someone else instead of forgiving them and allowing God to be glorified in our pain.

I found this video inspired by Mary Karen Read.  Mary was a student killed in the Virginia Tech shooting. This captures her last journal entry before her life was taken expectantly in a powerful way.

“Forgiveness doesn’t change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Mary Karen Read

When I was 22 years old, I learned something about forgiveness.  Personal story.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)

When we choose to forgive someone that has wronged us, it speaks louder than anything we could every say or do to seek revenge.  It frees us from carrying the hurt and pain, but it’s also a testimony of God’s love and forgiveness to those watching.

I want to share another video that captures the importance and testimony to the power of forgiveness by James E. Faust.  When I watch this I think of sitting and listening to my grandfather who was a strong Christian and a very wise man.  James was a politician, and a leader in the Mormon Church.  However, what he shares in this video is truth (it can be backed up with Scripture) and we must remember that all truth comes from God, regardless of where that truth comes from.  Take a look for yourself,

Forgiveness is a powerful thing!  And the questions we have to ask ourselves today are: Have I experienced Gods forgiveness, will I allow myself to move past a sin that I have asked God to forgive, and will I show others forgiveness that I have experienced myself?

Forgiveness is a choice.  You can choose to be bitter, angry, and full of rage, or you can choose to be forgiving, and ask God for His Supernatural Power so you can forgive and experience His Supernatural Peace.  My prayer is that we, together, would choose to be forgiving, first by understanding and experiencing Gods Forgiveness ourselves.

I put in your notes some action steps that will help you begin to have the Face of Love concerning this idea of forgiveness.

ACTION STEPS

  • EXPLORE God’s forgiveness!

Everyday I learn something new about God.  It’s ok to ask question and seek answers.  I encourage you to explore the things you don’t understand or know anything about.

  • EXPERIENCE God’s forgiveness!

Everyday I mess up, and I need to confess all my stuff to God so I can experience forgiveness.  Once I ask God to forgive me, I need to trust that He has forgiven me and remembers my sin no more.  I need to stop beating myself up over something that God has wiped clean and forgotten about.

  • EXPRESS God’s forgiveness!

I need to show forgiveness to others around me even if they don’t ask for it!

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

I know its a lot to think about.  But if you want to have the Face of Love, you have to understand that Love is Forgiving and we are never more like Jesus than when we forgive other!  Let these words of Jesus seep deep into our hearts this week.

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 (NLT)

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  1. Monica Raugitinane
    February 24, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Wow. This entry really touched me. I actually am an alumna of Virginia Tech of 2008. I didn’t know Mary Read like some of the others and I never saw this video out of all the articles, headlines, stories, ceremonies, days of remembrance we had. Maybe it was meant for me to see this video now and not back then. How beautiful her video is. We have this saying at VT, “Live for 32.” I think for me, the act of forgiving is another way to live for 32. Thanks for the motivation through your writing.

  2. V.E.G.
    May 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Brent Doonan forgave the gunman! Doonan himself is the extremely distant cousin of Dewey Whitley Lambdin!

  3. V.E.G.
    June 18, 2010 at 11:09 am

    The gunman’s father-in-law, Bill Spivey did talk by telephone to Brent Doonan and is the extremely distant cousin of yet another Dewey, Dewey Wesley Grantham!

  4. V.E.G.
    May 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Mary Karen Read is the cousin of Abraham Lincoln!

  5. V.E.G.
    June 5, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Scarlett Lewis, a cousin of Benjamin, William, and William Temple Franklin, forgave the Sandy Hook Perpetrator. So does Nate Hatch, a cousin of the fifth-generation Swedish American, Andrew Fryberg.

  1. February 8, 2010 at 7:06 am

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