Love is patient, love is kind. …it keeps no record of wrongs. –1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NIV
The ability to retain memories is a blessing that helps us savor the best in life, but they can become toxic to our well-being when we hang on to offenses that need to be released through the act of forgiveness.
Now you might be thinking, Don’t talk to me about forgiveness. If you knew what happened in my case, you’d realize there’s just no way I can forgive! And rationally speaking, you could probably lay out a great case for why unforgiveness is justifiable in your case. But that’s why believers can’t rely on feelings to be the arbitrator of mercy.
True forgiveness toward others must be rooted in understanding the enormity of our offenses against a holy God and how we have been completely forgiven by Him. So, the capacity to truly forgive isn’t something we do when we feel like it. Instead, forgiveness is a deliberate action (often in spite of powerful feelings) that’s born from the knowledge that we have received a full pardon from our holy God.
It’s in the shadow of His Cross that we release our “right” to be unforgiving, tear up our record of wrongs, and choose to extend mercy, grace, and forgiveness to all.
God, help me to see how much I have been forgiven so that I can learn to forgive.
Jesus, You forgave me of all my sins. Help me realize the value of that great gift and then offer it to others freely.