Learning to Love through Forgiveness
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
─ Ephesians 4:31-32
Robert didn’t like his father very much. His dad had always been distant. He wasn’t cruel, but neither was he kind. As a young man, Robert’s relationship with his father was strained at best.
Everything changed when his dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Robert was just sixteen and unsure how to process his father’s terminal illness. But every day after school he sat on the porch with his father and listened to stories of his dad’s childhood, years in the military and life as a young married man.
One day Robert realized that his dad wasn’t just telling him stories. He was trying to explain his actions. He was asking for forgiveness.
Robert had only two options. He could remember his father’s mistakes, or he could forgive them. He chose the latter, and it made all the difference. The short time they had left together was filled with joy and laughter. Now Robert’s memories of his father feature warm smiles and wonderful stories.
We have the same choice. We can either forgive and move forward or hold on to resentment and live in the past. The Bible is clear that as believers, we’re to let go of bitterness and forgive quickly. It may seem an insurmountable task to forgive someone for the terrible things they’ve done, and that’s when we cling to the power of Christ in us.
If we don’t, we may miss out on learning to love the most important people in our lives.
Today’s One Thing
Are you stuck in the past, unwilling to forgive? Ask the Lord to show you how to let go. Choose to release the hurt and embrace love.