Love Lets It Go
By Rick Warren
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13 NLT).
The longer you know someone, the easier it is to become critical. As time goes on, you’re more likely to become less gracious and to take others for granted.
Showing grace is an ongoing practice. It’s easy to show grace once. But over time, those little annoyances seem to add up, your patience starts to wane, and it’s easier to respond to hurt with hurt.
To experience a love that lasts, choose to be merciful. No relationship—marriage or otherwise—is going to last without forgiveness, acceptance, patience, and a lot of grace.
You get a hundred opportunities each day to extend grace to the people you love. I want to focus on two specific times when it may be a particular challenge, but you’ll need to do it anyway:
When their flaws and faults irritate you. The longer you love somebody, the more you know their flaws. You can choose to either be critical or gracious. You can be picky, or you can be kind. You can be a perfectionist, or you can show mercy. Proverbs 17:9 says, “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends” (NLT).
When their words or actions hurt you. You can’t hold on to anger over a hurt. You can’t stockpile every hurt for ammunition. The Bible says in Colossians 3:13, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT). You can choose to hold on to a hurt, or you can choose forgiveness. Only one option is healthy, and only one will give you freedom to move forward in love.
Showing grace goes against our nature to fight back, harbor a hurt, and have the last word. But we don’t have to rely on our own strength. Trust that as a follower of Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit working in you to help you choose the things God loves: mercy, compassion, and grace.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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