In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul is explaining what true kingdom love is. He states: “love keeps no record of wrongs.”
It isn’t possible for us to love someone while still holding something against them.
Satan loves when he can get us in a place of unforgiveness. When we do not forgive someone, we dwell on the ways they have wronged or hurt us in the past. This usually leaves us not desiring the best for that person, and in the end it only hurts us.
In Colossians 3:13 it says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” This is incredibly important because the way we experience the full love of God is because of the way that He forgives us. However, if we do not forgive others, we will not be able to experience His full love.
Unforgiveness leaves us in a place of anger, bitterness, frustration, and usually feeling like the victim.
God forgiving us isn’t based on what we deserve, but rather out of how much He loves us. This also applies to us forgiving others. We don’t need to forgive people because they deserve it, rather we forgive out of the forgiving love we have experienced from God. A love that does not keep any records of what we have done in the past, but rather sees us and loves us the same way He sees and loves Jesus.
This all sounds nice, but how do we get to a place of forgiveness when someone has really wronged us?
First off, forgiving someone does not mean that we necessarily need to re-establish a relationship with them. Forgiveness also does not mean that we fully trust someone again. However, forgiveness does mean having God’s heart for the person.
A great place to start is letting God overwhelm you with His love and forgiveness. Identify if there is a place that you are not accepting God’s forgiveness. This may be an area that you are walking in shame from something you have done in the past. Let God speak into that area and let me tell you what He actually thinks of you and how He sees you. Once we are able to accept God’s forgiveness, something we completely do not deserve, then we can start pursuing forgiving others.
Why would we forgive others if we can’t accept God’s full forgiveness for ourselves?
A great place to start in forgiving others is asking God for His heart for that person. Ask Him to reveal to you the way that He sees them. The good news is we don’t need to fake it with God. He will reveal His heart to us, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take time for us to actually start to see that person the way He does. He only needs us to be willing.
Father God, thank you that you are love. Thank you that you forgive me even though I do not deserve it. Thank you that you do not keep any record of my wrongs. Please reveal to me any areas where I am not accepting your forgiveness. I want to see myself the way you see me. I want to love myself the way that you love me. I want to forgive myself the way that you forgive me. God, I want to forgive _________. (Be honest with Him about your heart. If you aren’t ready to forgive, tell Him where you are.) I want see them the way you see them. I want to love them the way you love them. I want to forgive them the way you forgive.
Author | Jamie Cherf