Remembering is the Key
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Making allowances for another person’s faults is a lot easier when I remember that I have faults of my own. However, it is human nature to be more irritated with others than with ourselves. But, God’s nature is full of GRACE. And I get to live in that world of generous grace as God forgives every single one of my faults, lavishly provides for me and my family, and has a place for me in his family for eternity. I’ve done nothing to deserve this from him, and there’s no stopping him. He just blesses me with it every day.
So the word, remember, in this verse is the key. If I forget and just take for granted all that God does, then I would be holding grudges when I should be extending grace. But when I remember how freely forgives me, it helps me to freely forgive others. And I can even forgive the ones who are not sorry; I may not be able to have a relationship with them, but I can forgive them. For God forgives everyone; he knows that everyone is a helpless sinner, but he only has a relationship with the ones who are repentant. Forgiveness with restoration is the best, but when it’s not an option, I can still love them anyway since one way to show love is to simply not wish anyone ill will (1 Corinthians 13:6). I can do that.
I know I’m not going to get along with everyone. Some people are going to rub me the wrong way, and I’m well aware that I do the same. But I don’t ever want to withhold grace from anyone because I love grace, and I love it when grace is extended to me. So I also don’t want to have no grace for someone with no grace. I’m going to give it anyway and in so doing remember what the Lord has done for me!
Thank you for giving me what I do not deserve and for not treating me the way I deserve to be treated. Help me to not fall into the prideful trap of thinking I need special treatment from others when I have just as many faults. I enjoy when people don’t hold grudges against me, but I pray for your Holy Spirit to help me to have grace for them even if none is going to be given in return. Thank you for all the options available to me of how to show love according to 1 Corinthians 13, and help me to do those things freely today like you do for me. I love you and thank you and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.