Friday, August 09, 2013

Be the Church (Love) - XI

"Keeps no record of wrongs" is the next quality of love. A lot of the qualities are concerned with dealing with another person's offensive behavior. This is another one.

I have heard about people who have held onto a grudge for 30 years. It takes continued, sustained, hard work to nurse a grudge for that long. It obviously is not good for the relationship. It is not good for the individual either. Energy that could be used to grow, produce, or create is being used (possibly a low level state) of animosity. Any state of animosity consumes a person from inside.

Jesus talked about the importance of forgiveness. Forgiveness is vital for people on so many levels.
  • The individual's heart health. (I am stressing the spiritual health here, but it could be argued that physical health is involved also.)
  • Relationship with the offender.
  • Often relationships connected to that relationship.
  • The Bible says that it affects a person's relationship with God.
The Bible says that when we choose to follow God, and move into a relationship with him, he erases our sins and he does not remember them. Now, does the all-powerful, all-knowing God of the universe delete some of his own brain cells? Or does he choose to treat us (in thought, word and deed) like we never sinned? It is not that we become like we never sinned. It is that he chooses to treat us differently now that we belong to his family.

The Bible also says we are to follow his example. We should forgive wrongs done to us. And, as well as we can, treat the people who wronged us as if it never happened. Depending on the pain we experience, and the damage done to us, it may take quite some time.

Imagine the different this would cause in numerous situations: divorces, church splits, Northern Ireland. This alone ought to proclaim how important right relationships, with God and with people, are to God ... and should be to his family.

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