Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9)
The love of God is flawless: it never diminishes and it is without prejudice. Love in its purest form is God, for God is love. In fact, we are told not only do we not know God without love, but we cannot know him until we love as he loves. According to 1 John 4:7–8: “Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” No need of a theologian—this is pretty clear and simple. Love prospers when we forgive others as he has forgiven us.
Have you ever experienced the truth of today’s Word in your own life? Not only have I observed good friendships suffer in the hands of a fault-finding spirit, but I myself have been a recipient of the fault-finding and critical spirit. Even more reprehensible, I have been a dispenser of it; I witnessed the wounds it delivered to others and experienced the shame it brought to my heart.
Thankfully, I have also seen and known the power of forgiveness when offering the same grace and mercy extended by Christ. Forgiveness is first an act of obedience: God expects nothing less from us than what he has offered each of us. The effects of obedient forgiveness then heal the deepest of wounds, rebuild trust, and restore life.
God, thank you that you see me through the eyes of forgiveness because of the grace of your Son, Jesus Christ. May I walk in your spirit of forgiveness and extend it to others as you have instructed, for it pleases and honors you as I walk in obedience. Amen.
“and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”