Before Nathan and I were married, I remember thinking about forgiveness. I remember pondering situations and asking myself whether I would be able to forgive this thing or that thing. While it was a simple and probably not completely accurate heart test, it led to a huge revelation. GOD PROVIDED FORGIVENESS FOR MY SINS BEFORE MY SINS EVER OCCURED. Wow! Have you ever thought about that? God CHOSE to provide forgiveness for our every sin before we had a chance to commit them. He sent His one and only son to lay down His life, the greatest sacrifice of all, and provide us access to the love of God. Christ demonstrated perfectly to us what true love is and it is two fold: sacrifice and forgiveness. In other words, forgiving faults before they even occur and sacrificing for someone else, even if that person is “flawed.” I was undone by this realization and my heart attitude began to embrace this new attitude that no matter what, I would always forgive and I would always sacrifice. If God has forgiven me so much, how could I withhold forgiveness from another? Before Nathan ever makes a mistake or says something that I might be hurt by, I choose to forgive. Instead of allowing anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness to rule our responses, we have chosen to forgive! If there is a problem, it is dealt with before we sleep and it is NOT allowed to fester or grow. Why? Because an attitude of forgiveness seeks peace and not strife; compassion and not condemnation; mercy and not judgement; sacrifice and not selfishness. In our forgiveness, we get a glimpse at the most powerful kind of love: a Christ-like love founded on sacrifice, forgiveness, mercy, and grace!
If there is more strife than peace in your relationship, it’s time to take the heart test. Be the one who sacrifices first and chooses to forgive, even when it’s hard. Choosing to walk in this Christ-like attitude will tip the scales in your relationship until peace outweighs strife. Is it always easy? No. Is it a magic formula? No! Let me ask this: do we always honour Christ with our thoughts, speech, and action? NO and yet He forgives. If there is no sacrifice, it is not love. If there is no forgiveness, it is not love. Without Christ, we can only have an imitation of love. But because of Christ, we know forgiveness and we know sacrifice and through that, we can glimpse true and powerful love.
Thank you for reading! I pray that as you begin to choose forgiveness and sacrifice, that the power of Christ would empower you in your relationships and cause peace to multiply around you and love to show itself powerfully.