Ezekiel 30-32 1 Peter 4
“Most importantly, love each other deeply, because love will cause people to forgive each other for many sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NCV)
Whenever people are together, someone’s gonna mess up. You know it, I know it. Peter knew it. Peter used this time to remind us to love each other. Love will cause us to forgive each other. I’m sure that Peter was thinking about how much God loves us and how much He forgave us. Perhaps he was reminded of a more personal example of when Jesus, who loved much, forgave him after His resurrection. The key to understanding this verse is that we love others so that it’s easier to forgive them, not so that they will forgive us. We can’t control what other people will do, but we can control our own actions. Peter tells us to love and forgive others.
Why does God forgive us? Is it because we love Him, or is it because of His love for us? The answer is obvious, if we understand Scripture. Again and again God tells us that He loved us first – in the Old Testament and the New Testament. This verse doesn’t teach us how to GET forgiveness, it teaches us how to gain the power to forgive others. If you listen to me, it may seem that I believe that my wife is perfect. I know that she isn’t. But, I love her so much that I don’t even think about her faults. She’s perfect in my eyes. Where she isn’t perfect, I forgive her without even thinking about it because of my love. My problem is that I have a difficult time loving other Christians enough to forgive them the same way. As a follower of Jesus, I should love others so deeply that whenever I’m wronged, I should forgive people who wrong me without thinking about it. The key to forgiveness isn’t getting it, it’s learning how to love people enough to forgive them immediately, no matter how they sinned against me.
Lord, help me to love others like You do so that I can forgive them like You do. Let me seek to forgive others before I seek to be forgiven.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.