How do we still love someone who has wronged us or mistreated us or who did awful things to us? And how do we forgive someone like that? Maybe we can forgive part way –maybe we see some things we did wrong, too — but how do we possibly forgive everything?
The answer to all of the above is Jesus. We don’t know how to love without Jesus’ love in our hearts. We can’t fully forgive without Jesus’ love in our hearts. And, yes, we can love like Jesus loves us and forgive like Jesus forgives us who believe in Him. Glory to God!
The good news is that our broken relationships can be healed and restored and be even better than before because of God’s love in us.
These are Jesus’ words: ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Matthew 22:37-39)
The first step is receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior in our lives. If you haven’t already, simply pray right now and ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you.
When you have Jesus in your heart, as you pray, He will give you what you need to love and forgive unconditionally, as He does. He will show you how to love your neighbor ( meaning anyone in your life) as yourself. He gives you the grace. He gives you the love and the ability to forgive no matter what happened in your relationship.
Does it only take one prayer? With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26b), but with this, not from my experience. It takes many prayers and acts of love and forgiveness to heal broken relationships.
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ ” (1 Peter 4:8) Instead of staying angry, bitter, and thinking thoughts of revenge (all of which hurt you), ask God to touch your heart to love and forgive. Ask God to touch the other person’s heart to do the same. Call out to God for healing in the relationship. Call out to God for a miracle! He can do it! “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)
Fervent love? Yes, ask God for fervent, extravagant love for the other person. As God enables us to love like that, love overtakes us and we can forgive completely. It’s like a tsunami wave of love covers us and washes away the unforgiveness. What’s left is a clean slate to go on in love and unity with the other person.
What if the other person doesn’t love and forgive like I do? All you can do is do your part to love and forgive. And pray for the other to do the same. It is his or her responsibility to follow God and His ways.
Considering cutting off the relationship for good? If you’re being abused, you definitely need to leave and get help. In other relationships, though, it’s important to remember that God never gives up on us. He has loved us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) What is God asking you to do?
It often takes time for relationships to be restored. It is important to continue on in faith trusting God to help and heal.