“Love . . . does not take into account a wrong suffered,” 1 Corinthians 13:5
This is one more quality that comprises a true and godly love . . . and it encompasses having a heart of forgiveness. By definition, the phrase “not take into account” means to “not consider, to not take notice of” (taken from an online dictionary).
On the contrary, though, when wrongs are done against us, our human, fleshly nature is so quick to take offense, to have hurt feelings, to respond in anger, yet God has called us to not even notice when a wrong is done to us. What love, forgiveness and grace!
As always, our Lord has given us in Himself the perfect example of forgiveness, of “not taking into account a wrong suffered”. The epitome of forgiveness is shown in Christ’s words as He hung upon the cross, bleeding, bruised and dying, bearing the sins of the world: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).
What wrongs have we endured that can compare with such as what our Lord has suffered? Yet, He revealed His heart of compassion and forgiveness with this petition to His Father.
Consider ourselves; we were condemned sinners under the just judgment and wrath of God. Yet God made His Son, Jesus Christ, “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). By this, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Christ died in our place that we might live through Him having believed in His name. He declared “ ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die . . .’ ” (John 11:25-26) for “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2).
The Lord has commanded us, as followers of Jesus Christ, to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32). Just as Christ has forgiven us, so should we forgive those who do wrong to us.
This brings to mind the parable in Matthew chapter 18. A slave owed the king a great debt and upon pleading with him for mercy, the king “forgave him the debt.” Right after this act of great forgiveness and mercy that was shown to the slave, he proceeded to act corruptly and selfishly to a fellow slave who owed him but a small sum.
From him, the first slave demanded immediate payment which the second slave was unable to give. The first threw the second into prison . . . did he not remember that just a short time ago he was in the same situation? Did he not remember what great debt had been forgiven him?
How often does this same response pour forth from our own hearts? When we choose to not forgive but to take into account a wrong suffered, the consequences of this unforgiving heart will be grievous. Not only is this heart in disobedience to our God, but it bears the fruit of anger and bitterness which will infiltrate their poison throughout all other areas of our lives.
God has called us to respond to any perceived or genuine wrong committed against us, not as our fleshly nature would, but with a godly love. If we truly kept in mind how great of a debt we were forgiven, forgiveness of others would spring willingly from our hearts and would flow from a deep gratitude to God for the forgiveness that He has given to us.
As women striving to adorn ourselves with true beauty which comes from “the hidden person of the heart” (1 Peter 3:3), how great should be our desire to adorn ourselves with this aspect of love: a forgiving spirit. Having a heart of true love filled with compassion, mercy, grace and forgiveness. In these is true beauty manifested and this will bring glory to our Lord.
“. . . as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Colossians 3:12-13
-Posted by Sarah