Today's Scripture John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Love and forgiveness are closely linked. A loving heart is a forgiving heart. Jesus said that if we do not forgive others, our heavenly Father will not forgive us (see Mt. 6:15). What a profound—and frightening—statement! If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us. God commands us to forgive others because forgiveness brings healing. It’s all one huge love test. People who don’t know how to forgive don’t know how to love.

If you struggle with forgiving others for what they’ve done in your life, you are struggling in your love walk without realizing it. Anytime you forgive people for what they’ve done, devils are bound, and love begins to grow. Anytime you forgive an injustice of the past, you open the door for God to make it up to you. Maybe you were molested or abused, and it’s not fair, but God says if you will let it go, He will make it up to you. He even says that when the thief has been found out, he’ll repay you seven-fold (see Prov. 6:31). It’s a faith issue. Even when every fiber of my being resists forgiving, I will choose to forgive because I believe what God said about making it up to me when I do.

It’s simple to do really. And although it is a matter of spiritual warfare, seemingly small acts often prove to be the most powerful weapons. Simply speaking kindly to someone who has offended you, or putting your arms around somebody who has hurt you can bring positive returns far out of proportion to the loving act itself. It’s just another love test. Buying a gift for someone who has been talking badly about you at the office may be a small act—but it will yield gigantic rewards in the Kingdom of God.