Faith Column: What can keep us from loving
1 Cor. 13:4-6 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not act unbecomingly, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
The Greek phrase here is the term logiaomai. It is a bookkeeping term that means to count up and desire to settle the account. It means keeping score in our relationships. Anytime we do this, we are allowing self to overshadow God’s loving will for us. If there is an issue or problem between you and someone else, it effects the way we respond to them. That is why scripture commands us to go to each other and be reconciled. When we choose to keep a record of wrongs, we are not living the forgiving life that Jesus called us to live. Even Peter struggled with this when he asked Jesus about this in Matthew 18:21-22, Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.
We obviously know that when there are un-forgiveness issues, it is really about the lack of true love that we have for others. We are to forgive like we have been forgiven by God. Psalm 103:10-12 , He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Now that is great love. He holds nothing against us. If God can forgive, why can’t we? He doesn’t need to be forgiven for anything, yet we need forgiveness for practically everything. We must release those things that we’ve held in our hearts against others, so that forgiveness can do it’s loving work through us. We will never learn to love one another until we learn to forgive one another. We all have the choice to do this. What will you do?
Dear Lord, help me to forgive others they way that You forgave me; totally and completely! The only way I can love someone unconditionally is to not have conditions between us. Please remove my stubbornness and unwillingness to forgive so that I can love others with Your love. In Jesus Name, Amen