Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This is a text that shows up at weddings all the time. It is a beautiful poetic picture of how love ought to look. It strikes us as so idyllic that it is unattainable. In our own strength it is outside of our grasp. We could never love our partner so well. It is only with God’s strength that we are able to achieve any of these characteristics.
It is a natural part of our human nature to make note of injustices. We often keep a mental list of all the ways we have been wronged. We see this in marriage too. We can recite a full litany of all the things that are spouse has done wrong. We can recall the complete list of the inconsiderate things that we have experienced. It is as if we are a tape recorder playing the same sad song.
We know that living with our list of grievances is unproductive. When we hang on to our list, we are resisting the healing power of God’s forgiveness in our lives. It is incredibly freeing to give our lists over to God and give him the responsibility for establishing justice. Allowing God to carry the burdens in our lives will set us free to live our lives unencumbered.
Forgive and forget is a nice turn of phrase, but it is not realistic. We will never fully forget the hurts that we have received. We don’t want to pretend like we were not hurt or that the hurt was not significant. We need to acknowledge the pain we have received. When we have grieved it, we need to give up our right to retaliation. What pain have you been harboring that you need to give up to the Lord? Will you let Him heal you?
Gracious Lord, Show us what areas of our lives that we need to release and allow you to carry. Grant us the strength to give those things to you. Help us to forgive one another.