Recently, I heard a sermon about showing others you love them, and I realized it’s not necessarily what I tell them, but how I show them. In my devotions every morning, I’ve been researching the word love, and how to “show” my love to others—family and friends. For the next few blog posts, I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned.
One way to show love is found in Colossians 3:13, and it’s about forgiveness. It says, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Does that mean I should remember the offense and us it as blackmail in the future? No. Does it mean I should execute revenge whether planned or not? No. Does that mean I completely forget the offense and never think of it again? Of course not—that would be impossible. But, God does expect me, with His help, to endeavor toward forgiveness.
Exactly what is forgiveness? The dictionary says it’s “to grant pardon for, to give up all claim on account of, to cease to feel resentment against.” All of these things are hard to do when someone has offended or injured me in some way. Just because I know what forgiveness means doesn’t help me understand how to execute the definition. Just “saying” I forgive someone doesn’t make it so.
So, how do I forgive? The Bottom line?
1) I have to ask for God’s help. You’ve heard the saying, “to err is human to forgive is divine.” It’s impossible for me as a human to completely, absolutely, without-looking-back forgive another. The Bible tells us that without God, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) It also says that revenge belongs to the Lord, not us. (Romans 12:19) So ask for His help!
2) Think of all the sins I’ve committed that need forgiveness. Then, in gratitude, I vow to show the same patience and grace to my friend or family member that God has shown to me. I cannot expect God to forgive me if I don’t forgive others. (Luke 6:37) Remember God’s forgiveness!
3) Forgive from the heart, not just the head. I want to make it a top priority in my life to have a forgiving spirit.
4) Try to forget. When I remember the offense, I will try to make a conscious effort to “remember it no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
5) And most importantly, I will pray for that person. You’d be surprised how praying for someone helps you love them more.
So, the first way for me (and you) to really “show” love to others is to Forgive. 🙂