In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
February 13, 2007 – Forgiveness: An Act of Love – 1 Corinthians 13:5-7
Forgiving those who wronged us is a tough command to follow. Our human nature finds it easier and more satisfying to hold onto our anger. But, as vessels of God’s love, Christians no longer live according to the impulses of the flesh. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, when someone mistreats us, we can not only forgive but also show love to that person.
First Corinthians 13:5 tells us several important aspects of love:
First, love does not seek its own. Many people are preoccupied with their “rights.” Yet, the idea of entitlement is a worldly creation, not a biblical mandate. This doesn’t mean we allow others to take advantage of us. Rather, our primary concern should not be with our interests. Instead, we're to be focused on showing God’s love to our enemy, which is a mandate from Scripture. (Matthew 5:44)
Second, 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love is not provoked. Maintaining a peaceful spirit when we're irritated is difficult. But the moments when we're persecuted or wronged are precisely the times we most need to be mindful of God’s love flowing through us. Think how often Jesus had to face religious leaders who deliberately provoked Him. Yet, on the cross, He sought the Father’s forgiveness for them, too.
Finally, 1 Corinthians 13:5 teaches that love does not take into account a wrong suffered. God’s love flowing through us can remove a hurt done someone else. But we must let this happen instead of holding onto painful memory.
People will wrong us. But, if we have an unprovoked, caring attitude that isn't preoccupied with rights, then we can let go of bitterness and forgive with love.
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