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The Necessity of Forgiveness 14: Love, the Motivator

The Necessity of Forgiveness Day 14 – Love, the Motivator

Could we do a Valentine’s Day reading without addressing love? I mean, we could, but why would we miss the opportunity to talk about real love—God’s love? His love never disappoints, never hurts and never fails.

As we’ve been discussing the topic of forgiveness, perhaps one of the biggest motivators for forgiving is simply love. While forgiveness brings us freedom, when it comes from a heart of love it’s a beautiful picture of Jesus and His love for us. In a world where love is closely linked to heartache and hurt, it’s refreshing and comforting to know the love of God—a love that is faithful and secure.

Maybe you’re holding onto a grudge today and you justify it because you say you don’t love that person, so why would you need to make it right. Well, as believers, we forgive people not based on our love for them but on our love for the Lord. In fact, if we cannot forgive someone, or simply refuse to, we show our lack of love for Jesus by our stubborn refusal.

It may seem strange to take a day that celebrates love to look inward and see what relationships might need mending. For any relationship you have that is broken and has caused you pain, ask the Lord to shed light on how He wants you to make it right on your end—and then be willing to act. We are not responsible for the response of the one with whom we are at odds, but we are responsible, as God’s people, for our part in it. 

What a wonderful gift it would be on Valentine’s Day—a day in which the world celebrates love—to be free from a grudge or offer true heartfelt forgiveness over a broken relationship. And the beauty of it is that you’ll feel so much better, too! Holding onto an offense makes us bitter and brings dishonor to the name of the One we claim to serve, but forgiveness demonstrates the very heart of our Lord. Let’s honor Him with how we freely offer forgiveness to others, starting today!

“Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14, ESV)

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18, ESV)

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31, ESV)

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