Characteristics of Agape #9: Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

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“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres .8 Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)

 

As Jesus hung on the cross, after all the pain and humiliation he had been put through he said to his Father (Luke 23:34a);

Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

How did he do that? ……..By the power of the agape love of God within him.

As the rocks hit Stephen and he felt life leave him, Stephen lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed;

“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit….. “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

How in the world did he ever think of asking God to forgive the people who murdered him?…. By the power of the agape love of God within him.

Did either one of them FEEL like forgiving the people who hurt them? I doubt it.

Did they still go ahead to forgive those that hurt them even though they didn’t quite FEEL like doing so? Yes

I have emphasized the word FEEL because to listen to the way many Christians talk about forgiveness is to get the idea that forgiveness is something we’re to do only when we feel like doing so. However, nowhere in the Bible is forgiveness associated with a feeling. All we’re told time and time again is to obey God and just forgive, meaning that forgiveness is a decision and not a feeling.

HOW ARE WE TO FORGIVE

“Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly beloved…….Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Col. 3:12-13(NIV)

  • We’re to forgive promptly: Once a person repents of their sins and declares Jesus as their Lord and savior, God forgives us immediately. God expects us to also be quick to forgive those who hurt us.
  • We’re to forgive others regardless of whether or not they repented for their wrong doing: When God forgives us of all of our sins, He doesn’t do it because we did anything to earn His forgiveness, but instead God forgives us because Christ paid the price for our forgiveness by shedding his blood on the cross (Col. 1:13-14). We too are called to forgive others regardless of whether or not they repented for their wrong doing, because we are mindful of the divine forgiveness we now enjoy which we ourselves did nothing to earn (Eph. 4:32)
  • We’re to forgive and forget: Psalm 103:12, Ish, 38:17 & Mic. 7:19 tell us that God has hidden our sins far away from himself so that he can no longer remember them. We also as God’s children are to imitate Him by being willing to forgive and forget.

 

BENEFITS OF BEING QUICK TO FORGIVE & FORGET

There are basically two benefits to walking in forgiveness I can think of. The first is that by forgiving others we obey God and make it possible for Him to forgive us of our own sins (Matt. 6:14, Mark. 11:25, Luke, 7:47). As a result, we enjoy both the blessings of walking in obedience as well as the assurance of knowing that because we’ve forgiven others God will in turn forgive us our own sins as He promised.

The second benefit of forgiving other like God has forgiven us is that, we do ourselves a favor by sparing ourselves from the harmful health effects of harboring unforgiveness, bitterness or resentment. Studies show that those who harbor unforgiveness are generally more prone to all kinds of illnesses.

I hope you make a decision to always walk in forgiveness 😉

Let’s make this confession together:

“The love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost. I shall endeavor to let that love nature dominate me. I have God’s love nature in my heart – in my spirit. Therefore, I’ll not let my natural reasoning dominate me. I refuse to allow the flesh to rule me. I’m going to walk in the Spirit by walking in love.

I am a lover not a hater.

I will practice and exercise the fruit of love so that it can grow and increase. …….I will make the love of God my great quest in life, for then my love shall abound, and God shall reap the glory.

N.B. The above confession is an excerpt from Rev Kenneth Hagin’s book : ‘LOVE: The way to victory’.

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