“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Loving and forgiving others doesn’t always feel like the easiest thing to do, but the Bible talks to us about both subjects, and how important they are in the life of believers.
Love and forgiveness are further reaching than the simple acts alone. Both actions have the ability to change the life of those who are touched with both acts through others.
The more we learn about our Lord and His ways, the more we realize His commands for our lives are for intentional reasons. Jesus expressed His desire for believers to have abundant life, which is only one of the reasons we’re commanded to make changes in our lives, embracing things that will bring us peace and joy, while eliminating the things that hold us in bondage both emotionally and physically. Romans 12:1-2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Offering ourselves to God to have His will in our lives brings forth that transformation that will bring us to a closer walk with peace in our souls. Loving and forgiving others is His will. And those two actions have the power to transform lives. Not only those we touch, but within our own souls as well.
Forgiving others isn’t so hard when we remember back to the times we weren’t doing very well in our own lives. There have been times where our tempers have gotten out of control, or we acted out of character from our normal behavior. Some of us even have memories from before we ever knew there was a Savior that loved us and wanted to save us from the things that were destroying us. Many of us can think back to a time where we weren’t so lovable, but grace and compassion were offered to us anyway.
Before we withhold compassion and forgiveness to the stranger on the street, or the friend who dealt with us harshly when it wasn’t deserved, let us take a moment to see past the apathy or wounded feelings. The entire globe faced a pandemic that has not completely disappeared yet. So many people were affected in so many ways. Loved ones were taken too soon from the virus, jobs were lost, interaction with friends caused loneliness and depression to increase, and help was not to be found. For some, the suffering is still present, while others continue to pick up the pieces of the devastating impact the entire world partook of.
Love and forgiveness are beautiful attributes the Lord has given to us. Sharing extends an invitation to others, inviting them to experience what we have been so blessed to receive. May all of us spread the blessings of love and forgiveness in our hurting world today. May each of us allow others to experience the love of God through us.