This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. 1 John 4:9-10 (MSG)
Love and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. If you’re struggling with a relationship today, could it be that it’s time to practice forgiveness?
Often we put our best efforts forward with strangers rather than the people we love the most. With our closest friends and family, we can develop the attitude, “Well, this is who I am and you’re going to have to deal with it.” But relationships thrive when there’s an atmosphere of growth and change. We need to be lifelong learners, students committed to continually learning about relationships and to studying the people we love.
The truth is, love doesn’t mean much if it is not demonstrated, and one of the most profound ways to demonstrate love is through forgiveness. The Bible says that God demonstrated His love to us when we did nothing to earn it (Romans 5:8). How did He do that? He sent His Son to die on the cross so that we could trust in Him and our sins could be forgiven.
Days go by, weeks go by, and stuff builds up—things we’ve done wrong and things we didn’t do right. God still demonstrates His love toward us because His forgiveness knows no bounds. I’m not saying that we should hand out trust when it’s unearned or allow people to take advantage of us, but we can always move toward forgiveness. And when we do, we open the door to healing in our relationships.