Let Love Fill Your Heart
Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity
When someone wrongs you in any shape or form it is very difficult to forgive. To some it may be easy to just forgive and forget but personally I struggle to just let things go. People who’ve cheated me, slandered me, hurt me, or even used me I would just cut them out of my life and move on, but I often find myself being irritable and anxious.
Whenever an “unforgivable” situation is brought back to light I find myself having so much bitterness and hatred in my heart that I would physically get ill. I would go to great lengths to avoid talking to or even seeing this person, talk ill of them to others, and let it completely consume my life. I would often go to church with this ugliness in my heart and be completely okay with it.
One day on my commute back home I was listening to a sermon and the preacher said, “The heart is the center of a person’s identity and will. God requires purity of heart.” After hearing this I immediately thought about the evil I had festered in my heart and felt so guilty. I was ashamed to call myself a follower of Christ when I lacked the ability to do the most fundamental thing, which was to forgive. I’ve been going about my life thinking that I was a victim and needed pitying; but in reality, I am a sinner and a hypocrite. Yes, that person may have wronged me but how am I any better when I’m holding hatred and anger towards this person? How many times have I wronged God and how many times has He forgiven me for all of my unthinkable actions? How can I not forgive others when God has given me such abundant grace and mercy?
For Your Reflection
With continual prayer for the desire to change my heart, I was finally able to forgive and also to love the people who wronged and hurt me. Our God is not a fault finder, He is looking to pardon and forgive us. Do not just forgive and forget but truly love and encourage one another. I’ve come to realize that loving and forgiving our enemies are blessings and testimonies to share. The act of forgiveness is intended to remind us of what Christ has done for us and lead us to repentance. We belong to each other, we affect each other, and we need each other so let the love of Christ fill your heart.