I FORGAVE THEM, DO I HAVE TO LOVE THEM?

Sunday, 27 July 2014 11:59 Written by 

 

If I forgive a person for an offence done to me...am I required to love them? Challenging thought isn't it. Forgiveness is very important to our spiritual and physical well being. It's one thing to say "I forgive you"...but to change our heart felt feelings towards the person is quite another. God isn't just after us to say the words. He desires us to change our attitude and heart towards them as well.

Let me ask you this...does God love the unbeliever, the sinner...even the worst of sinners? 1 John 4:19 tells us "We love Him, because He first loved us." Our salvation opens the doors for us to come into relationship with Him so we can love Him in return. We cannot just simply say "I love Him" because it is expected of us. To love Him we need to get to know Him, be with Him, experience His love towards us.

Falling in love with God, Jesus and Holy Spirit is a process. A process which is greatly impacted by our feelings towards other people. 1 John 4 goes on to say "If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen." Hard words to embrace...you mean I have to love......??.....even after he shamed me that way? God did...Jesus did.

Both love and forgiveness do not require that we be in relationship with the individual. God loves all manner of mankind...not for what they do but for the true person within them, not who they believe themselves to be and are acting out. Many are loved by God but have no relationship with Him. Forgiveness and love are inseparable. To truly do one you must do the other...otherwise your words are just noise. They may not manifest immediately...but the heart that is willing will always give time and space to the process having its way. Forgiveness opens the door...love works out the finishing touches.

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William Broer

William Broer is the co-founder of freedom House Canada Incorporated. He has a real passion for ministering to the brokenhearted. Having studied under several high-profile ministries and interning with Elijah House ministries, Bill is committed to making the word of God practical in our everyday experiences.

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