My wife has a wonderful way of decorating the home with things that reflect the current “season.” It seems the Christmas decorations were barely put away before the Valentine’s paraphernalia made its way out. Soon that will be replaced by the Irish green for St. Patrick’s Day, etc.
But recently as I climbed the stairs, I paused long enough to see the “Love Lives Here” motif hanging by the front door. It has all kinds of wonderful reminders related to how members of our household are supposed to express love for one another – hugs, kisses, encouragement, listening, laughter, etc. But at the very top of that list is this reminder:
Love forgives quickly.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul wrote this: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (3:13).
The instructions are pretty clear. We are to forgive ANYone of ANY grievance. That describes the WHO and WHAT we are to forgive. The second sentence in the verse tells us HOW we’re to forgive – just as Christ forgave us. This begs the question, “How did Christ forgive us?”
As I told my class recently, a wonderful way to answer that question is to think back to the Father of the Prodigal Son; how did he forgave? The Father forgave freely, lavishly, above and beyond what was expected, eagerly, and proactively – he didn’t wait to be asked for forgiveness. Christ also forgave without limit (70 x 7).
May I ask – is there ANYone in your life you need to forgive, but haven’t? Why not today? The one you’re punishing at this point is probably yourself. Forgive quickly – there’s no better demonstration of Christ’s love! –Dave
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