“You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart .” 1 Peter 1:22 (NLT)
To forgive and love one another deeply, regardless of sin or feelings of hurt and betrayal, remembering that we too have been forgiven by God—and His forgiveness cost so much more.
- Praise God for who He is
- Confess your sinfulness and need for cleansing
- Allow His Spirit to draw you near
- Listen as He speaks to you
- God, help us love one another unconditionally.
- Show us specific ways we can love each other deeply, with all our hearts.
- To be a Church of love and forgiveness, in the same way God loved and forgave us.
- Thank God for hearing you.
- Trust that God is at work to accomplish His will.
- Ephesians 4:32
- Colossians 3:13
It was decades ago when an issue arose regarding the pastor of the church I was attending.
It was found out that the pastor had been involved in some behaviour, a few years previously, that was inappropriate for a Christian, and his role as leader in the Church was in question. There was significant anger from many in the congregation and feelings of betrayal. A congregational meeting was called to determine the future of the Church leadership. A ballot had been created in advance in order to facilitate a vote. There were three options on the ballot. The first stated, “I forgive the pastor and want him to continue his leadership role in the Church.” The second stated, “I forgive the pastor but do not want him to continue in his leadership role in the Church.” The third stated, “I do not forgive the pastor and do not want him to continue in his leadership role in the Church.” After the ballots were passed out my father did something that makes me very proud to this day. He stood up in the middle of the congregation and said that the ballot was not only inappropriate, but the last choice was not an option for the Church. The ballot was dropped.
Forgiveness, as well as love, is not optional for the Church of Jesus, regardless of person or sin.
Contributed by: Terry Wiens