Over the years, I have encountered many who find it hard to forgive the hurts or damages done to them… One day, I literally heard a word, “Love forgives.” and was brought to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I went “Huh?” The 1st thing I got to do was to check myself, “God, do you mean there is someone I need to forgive?” No sound, no spotlight, so I probed further, “Or are You teaching or reminding me what love is all about?” Silence……
Till I read this passage in a detailed translation that sheds new light:
Love is long-suffering, love is gentle, benevolent and considerate. It does not covet nor be envious, it does not speak with exaggeration, neither is love prideful, Love is not rough or harsh in words, manner & behaviour. neither is it centered on oneself, one’s interest or one’s rights, it is not subjected to anger and displeasure so easily, it harbours no offenses nor keep in remembrance of any wrongs. Love certainly does not take pleasure in evil but take delight and gladden with the truth. It always defends and guards, It always relies in confidence and trusts, it always believes, it always persists steadfastly despite suffering and hardships. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The very core of Christianity is LOVE.
It is Love that Jesus dies… and it is Love that we could live. – 1 John 4:9
The first characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit is Love. – Galatians 5:22
God exhorts that we truly are His disciples if we love one another. – John 13:35
It is the Love of God that we are forgiven. – Micah 7:18-19
We love because He first love us. – 1 John 4:19
If we read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 slowly, again and again. We will get a nutshell- Love forgives. and it doesn’t end there, verse 13 emphasises that among faith, hope and love, the greatest of these is love.
So why many of us cannot forgive has to do with:
(1) Love that has grown cold = We did not take the effort and time to nurture love.
(2) Love that has died = We do not bother to revive or restore love.
(3) Our self-interest (including our rights and things we hold in remembrance) overrides the interest of another = We are big on Me-I-Myself.
Time for a self-check?