The Provision of Forgiveness

Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. -1 John 2:10, NIV

Webster defines “hatred” as a hostility, aversion, or dislike usually derived from fear, anger, or injury. This is exceedingly helpful as we look toward obeying our Lord’s commandment to love.

Our fear makes us hate. Sometimes without true data-based confirmation, we feel someone does not like us. Our fear and anticipated rejection elicits aversion.

Our anger makes us hate. We have been wronged, legitimately wronged! “They injured me! I hate them!”

This is why faith and forgiveness are so important in God’s value system. If we have faith, we do not give place to our unsubstantiated fears. If we have forgiveness, we don’t entertain anger or hatred.

“But,” you say, “those are easy platitudes; if only you understood the degree of injury…”

If God calls us to love, there must be some provision for the really difficult-to-love cases. This provision is called forgiveness.

Do you hate somebody? Dislike? How about a slight aversion? May the Lord give us the capacity to forgive and love.

1 John