Read: Romans 12:9-15
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. I was seventeen years old when I truly learned what forgiveness was. I had a friend who, for some reason, didn’t want me to be happy. She’d spread rumors, ruin my friendships, but then acted like she was my best friend. I had given her so many chances to apologize, to change. But, she never did.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. She did this to me for three years until I finally had to accept that she was never going to care about me. I felt so betrayed, so unloved, extremely insecure.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. When I told her that I forgave her, pushing aside all the hurt, pain, and anger . . . I finally felt free.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. In Luke 15, we stumble upon a story that, despite its countless retellings, has never lost its resonance. That is the parable of the lost son. Out of nowhere, for no good reason, a son tells his father to give him his inheritance. Basically, that was like telling his dad that he might as well have been dead.
The father complied and gave the son what he asked for. With his newfound riches, the son decided to leave his family and ended up wasting everything his father had given him. The son was left with nothing and no one.
After a period of struggling to get by, being starved and treated as if he amounted to nothing, he decided to go back to his family. As the son was closing in on his former home, even before he had the chance to apologize, his father ran to him with open arms, welcoming him home.
Now the question that may come to mind, is why? Why did that father choose to let go of his hurt? Why should we? Why can’t we exclaim our anger? The answer is simple enough, it is because of who we are in Christ. Being someone who has a personal relationship with Jesus changes the way we love. It isn’t easy. We have a duty to sacrifice, to accept, and to forgive.
We have to show love in action, even if we don’t want to. We need to forgive, and in turn, be forgiven. We need to wrap each other in love. When you love, you are devoted to one another, when you love, you honor one another.
Are you still holding on to past hurts? Is there someone that comes to mind when you read the word pain? Pray that God will grant you the acceptance, to let go and forgive just like we have been forgiven.