Forgiveness is sticky! We’re grateful for it when we want God to forgive our foolishness and self-centeredness. We like it well enough when someone who has hurt us in the past, finally declares they were wrong and would like us to forgive them. When it comes to seeking the forgiveness of someone else over something we know we did, it’s a bigger deal. It’s so big a deal that we can actually spend years coming up with logical explanations and excuses for our bad behavior. We might even blame the other person for making us fall flat on our faces. We simply hate the idea that we were really wrong. 

For some of us, confessing to God that we’re wrong lightens our load. After all, it took a while for us to admit there was a deliberate and poor choice made on our part. When we finally own the offense and confess to our Maker that we screwed up, we hope His love will let us off the hook. God may well forgive us for Jesus’ sake, but what do we do after that if we still carry the burden?

We pray. We pray for the well-being of the other person. We pray for God to guide us into a loving approach to remedy the situation. If possible, we might go to the person we offended, admit our failure, and ask to be forgiven. If that isn’t possible, we might seek counsel or advice about possible options. Each of us has fallen far short of God’s expectations and no matter what we might believe someone else owes us, there’s always more to the story. Peace comes when you get the story right in your own head. 

So here’s the story. Love forgives. Love stops the craziness and recognizes the wrong, doing what it can to make things better, and then moves on. Love forgives the other person. Love forgives as God forgives. Love is then free to grow and become more than it ever could before. You don’t have to be stuck anymore.

It’s a new year. Let’s forgive each other’s failures and discover one more aspect of what it means to truly love one another.

Love forgives!