Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; a finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.–1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Baseball is often a game of controlled failure. Failing 7 out of 10 times can be considered a success. Unfortunately, this isn’t the same in our relationships.
In a large local tournament, one of our top players chose to play with a stronger team—a choice he was allowed to make. I was glad for him because he made a decision and stuck with it. Some families were offended because they felt we could win the tournament if we had him with us.
After the tournament and as the season progressed, accusing e-mails flew around. One, in particular, caught my attention. One of the lines read, “apologize and seek forgiveness.” I was hit with a realization—as Christians we are in the ministry of reconciliation. Jesus came to earth, hung on the cross, and was separated from the Father for love. While we never “apologized” nor sought “forgiveness,” the Master endured the cross for the joy set before Him . . . for me. I began to understand that while I was lost, He was offering me eternal life, with no need to ask. He first forgave me, so I could seek His forgiveness and mercy.
Unlike baseball, we can always offer forgiveness, even after someone strikes out with us. Even after the last inning, forgiveness is always on the table. Without love, there can be no forgiveness. Love keeps no records of wrongs.
1. Is there someone you need to forgive or tell you love them?
2. Do you have trouble forgiving people? Why do you think this is?
John 3:16; Hebrews 12:2
Lord, thank You for finding me when I was lost. Help me be quick to repent and ask forgiveness when I fail. Help love be my motivation. Amen.