Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
I have had a mental list in my mind. I don’t know that I have deliberately or even consciously kept this mental list. I just know that it has existed. It exists today, even right now. What kind of list have you kept in your mind? I am sad to say that I have kept a mental list in my mind of wrongs that people have committed against me. What do you think about such a list being in your mind? I think it is a worthless list. It is an unhelpful list. I suppose it is even a sinful list. Why is the list worthless? I don’t plan on taking any action related to the list. I won’t be seeking revenge. That’s good. But there is more isn’t there? Yes, there is. Once someone has gotten on my mental list of wrongs done against me, it is unlikely that I will ever be close to them again. That sounds terrible, I know. But it is worse than that. How so? Once someone is on my list, it is quite likely that I will take steps to distance myself from them. How does that sound? Not good. I know. What do you know? My attitude and my list is not at all loving and forgiving. My attitude and my list certainly does not leave much hope and room for reconciliation. Why are we talking about your attitude and list now anyhow? Well, I am confessing this sin to you. I am asking for your forgiveness. You have my forgiveness. But I also want to let go of wrongs committed against me. I don’t want to have a list of wrongs committed against me, residing in my mind. That’s good.
What would you like me to do for you? I have frequently, almost daily, asked you to make me to be more like you. Yes, I have heard that prayer of yours many times. What do you have in mind? I want to love like you loved. I want to do what you did. How so? Your deep love for others made you able to overlook and forgive the sins that they committed against you. You did not keep a list of wrongs committed against you. You did not distance yourself from those who hurt or harmed you. Instead, you loved and forgave them. Even more, you prayed for those who sinned against you. You are always ready to forgive. You are also seeking reconciliation. Yes, I am. You are always hoping that people will turn to love and follow and serve you. Yes, I am. So, I want you to help me to love others deeply from my heart. I want you to make me able to fully love and freely forgive others just as you do. I want you to destroy my list and help me to make sure that no one gets on it, because it no longer exists. That I can and that I will do for you. That will be very good. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, help me to love others deeply from my heart. Keep me from holding on to a list of wrongs that have been committed against me. Rather give me a love for others that is ready, willing and able to cover over any sin that has been committed against me. Amen
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