Jesus tells us: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:44-48)
Easier said than done, you may say. You’re not even sure you want to love those who have hurt or wronged you. After all, they don’t deserve it. You’d just as soon distance yourself from that cranky boss, that former friend who hurt you, that coworker who talked badly about you behind your back.
One of the most wonderful things about God’s love is that it can override our sometimes-all-too-human reactions and prejudices. He may not be happy about some of the things some people do or the way they do them, but He still loves them. Isn’t that the way He is with us? He never stops loving us no matter what our faults and flaws, and in spite of what we do. He never rejects us or withdraws His love. He always has hope for us, no matter how far we’ve strayed.
That’s the sort of love He wants us to have for others, and it’s ours for the asking. “Love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) God will give you as much grace and love to forgive others as you ask Him for.—S.S.
He that cannot forgive others breaks down the bridge over which he must pass himself, for every man has need of forgiveness.—Author unknown
Where shall we get the love wherewith to make our enemy lovely? From the great Lover Himself. “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 NIV) The great Lover will love love into us, and we, too, shall become fountains of love.—J.H. Jowett
Love on, O heart, love on!
If wounded by some critic’s word,
Or hurt by tongues that utter lies;
If false reports on you are heard
By those who watch with faithless eyes,
Don’t seek revenge and rise to strike
And think your foes will soon be gone,
Or hope that God your pluck will like,
But love, O heart, love on, love on!
Love on in spite of wounding darts,
In spite of what the critics say;
Love men through grace that God imparts
When at the feet of Christ you pray.
The way of love will bring you out,
Though dark the night before the dawn;
Then keep in faith and shun the doubt,
And love, O heart, love on, love on!
—Walter E. Isenhour
Love covers over all wrongs.—King Solomon (Proverbs 10:12 NIV)
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.—Apostle Paul (Ephesians 4:32)
Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.—Peter Ustinov