Tuesday; July 31
When the First Century church in Rome was instructed, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8) the Apostle Paul continues a message that had been started by the Head of the Christian church, Jesus. From the very beginning, Jesus established that our love for one another would be the founding principle upon which His church and our religion would be built.
All of us know that when we love one another we not only fulfill the requirements of Christianity, but we make life so much better for the people around us. Yet, what happens when love is not shown? The most obvious answer is that things don’t go well, but there is a secondary issue as well. When people don’t demonstrate love to us it creates an issue for us. When people are mean to us – even when they hate us – we must make a decision about our response. If we owe a debt of love to each other – then someone doesn’t fulfill that debt – what do we do? Interestingly, I believe the answer is found in the principles of Jesus when He taught us to pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) When we seek God’s forgiveness, we acknowledge that we have unpaid debts to Him; but ask Him to overlook them. The only way that is going to happen is when we are willing to forgive those who have unpaid debts to us – including those times when they haven’t treated us with kindness or love.
When it comes to love and forgiveness, we have no choice. We must be willing to offer both to everyone – whether they respond in kind or not.
Think About It!