Secrets of the Lord's Prayer: Forgiveness Requires Receiving and Giving God's Love
"And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." (Matt. 6:12)
Forgiveness and love go hand in hand. Today, we will look at how God's love flowing to us and through us can spur us towards forgiveness. This process of forgiveness is absolutely critical to get to a deep, intimate relationship with God that so many of us crave. For past articles in this series, simply click HERE.
6. Forgiveness involves learning to receive and give love at new levels and in new ways.
To forgive others and ourselves completely, we must be open to allowing God to love us and extend love to others in new and powerful ways through the grace of Jesus Christ. God wants to bring love into and through our lives that is different than we might imagine. Many times, because of wounds, guilt, or pain, we are not open to new relationships or even new opportunities that are bringing the love of God to us. We wonder, "Where are you, God?" but He's sometimes in the places we would least expect Him. We must have discussions with God about what we need to be open to His love in our lives, as well as who we need to spread His love out toward. I have found most people need to have these types of discussions constantly, as each day brings new ways to experience the love of God personally and to spread His love to others.
Receiving God's Love
Since we know that God loves us and wants to manifest His love to us, we can be confident that God's love is streaming toward us even if we are so emotionally distraught we cannot perceive it. We need to talk with God, "How are you trying to get your love to me?" Pause and let Him show you the ways that He is loving you right now. "Who are you sending to manifest your love to me?" Pause and let God bring different people to mind who have been trying to care for you in different ways. "What have I been unwilling to consider that may be your love coming toward me?" Pause and let God bring memories or instances to mind about where His love is evident. I have heard about times when the pain of an illness or accident of a loved one, at the time, didn't feel much like God was loving the person or family. But His love comes to them in the form of unity. The circumstance bonds them together in ways and levels the family have never experienced before. That's God's love flowing to that family!
Loving Others Through Us
Another exercise that is crucial in recovery from deep wounds and pain is the ability to let love flow through you to others. We cannot just be a big reservoir, where love flows in but does not flow out. God wants you to be His agent doing kind, helpful, and loving things for others. Ask God, "Lord, who do you want me to love today?" "What needs can I meet in others today?" Have an active dialogue with the Living God about where, how, and who He wants His love to be shared with. When we finally begin to escape the gravity of our own self-focus, recovery from our lack, pain, wounds, and hurts can begin.
Who and how has God asked you to love? Let me know by reaching out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, your greatest life is just ahead.
In His service,
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The Fruit of the Spirit explained simply and with relevance for today.
Find out what God is asking from you when He tells you to "be loving" or "practice joy" or "be peaceful," and so on to the people in your life. Get ready to experience life change, deeper relationships, greater success, and more joy. You won't want to miss this one! This book comes with video commentaries from Dr. Gil that accompany each chapter, easily accessible from your smart phone or electronic device.