[This is an excerpt from the Kairos talk “A Christian”]
Forgiveness is what love is in practice. It’s what happens when we love people enough to forgive them, even when they are wrong and we’re right; even when no one is looking and it won’t help us a bit. Forgiveness is the evidence of mercy in our individual personal relationships.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4, it says ‘Love is patient.’ In the King James version of the Bible, and in the original Greek the verse says, “Love suffers long.” That means if you really love someone, you put up with them. I’m thinking about my kids when they were teenagers. It means that you put up with them, even though you’ve told them 15 times what you expect, and they’re still doing it wrong, very likely on purpose and not accidentally. That’s what it means when it says love suffers long.
Love is about loving God as much as He loves us. In Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, it says we’re supposed to love Him with all our hearts and souls and strength and mind; and teach our children to love Him; and talk about Him when we lie down and when we get up, and when we’re sitting in our house and when we’re walking (or driving) down the road.
Leviticus 19:18, says, “Don’t take vengeance, don’t hold a grudge, but love your neighbor as yourself.’ Seeking vengeance and holding a grudge are the exact opposite of loving your neighbor. Jesus quoted this very verse as the “second great commandment”.
Love is “Do unto others as you want them to do to you.”
Love is being obedient to do what Jesus wants you to do in this life.
Love is going into all the world, starting right here in this small corner of the world, and make disciples, (followers of Jesus), teaching them to follow Him.
Some days it’s hard to love anyone, especially if you don’t love yourself. The kinda love we’re talking about here is the kind where you finally give up and realize that you can’t do this all by yourself; you’ve got to have help; and the only place you’re going to get any REAL help is from Jesus.
You’ve heard that expression, “God helps those who help themselves.” That is just not true. “God helps those who get out of the way and let Him help them.” God wants us to come to the point where we know we can’t possibly do all the things He want us to do by ourselves, so we’ll surrender and let Him work through us. Are you there yet?