“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” –Luke 6:35 (NIV)
Our culture is quick to dismiss others. Social media is filled with ‘cancel culture.’ If someone does something unacceptable, social media becomes enraged and the demand to end the individual’s career ensues.
This boycott includes shaming individuals, slamming their reputation, and negating anything they have ever done that may have been positive. As Christians, we have a responsibility to speak out and address those societal ills that plague our communities, but we must not forget to forgive and remember our own shortcomings, faults and failures.
In essence, when we deny forgiveness, we deny them the opportunity to receive love. I am so glad we serve a God who forgives us repeatedly. In Matthew 18:21-35, Peter asks how many times he should forgive.
Christ answers with a parable of a man in a position of power who forgave his servant. Yet, when the servant was given the opportunity to do the same for someone else, he forgot how he had been forgiven previously.
Jesus answered Peter, “I tell you, not just seven times, but 77 times!” Forgiveness is ongoing and rooted in love. It is accepting we all fall short of the glory of God and that as long as we are on this Earth, we will make mistakes.
Forgiveness is about loving others even when they do not deserve it. Forgiveness is about loving ourselves enough to be freed from the chains of anger and hatred. Forgiveness is about obedience to God and loving him through our actions because he continues to give us another chance.
As we go through this season, I hope we are extending the love, grace and mercy Christ has given us to one another. If we are to show the world the love of Christ, it begins in how we love one another (John 13:35) and our willingness to forgive others as he has forgiven us.
From the 2020 Buckner International Advent guide. To download, visit https://www.buckner.org/blog/the-2020-buckner-advent-guide-has-arrived/
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the Founder and CEO of Soulstice Consultancy, specializing as a Partnership Broker and Leadership Expert for companies and organizations to thrive with measurable and meaningful impact. She also is the VP of Community Affairs and Strategic Alliances for the State Fair of Texas.