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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.

The Vital Importance Of Forgiving Others

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Christ-love. What you say is right of course. However can forgiveness take time, when say someone has harmed your wife or children. Perhaps like the evil young man that killed 17 students recently? It may be a process perhaps? Just wanting more dialogue. God bless.

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From the article:


So, according to Jesus, a person who has been saved by faith in Him must meet the condition of forgiving others or their future sins committed after their salvation won't be forgiven.


so, we are saved by faith, but we stay saved through our works!


Maybe in Matt 6:14-15 the point Jesus is making is that if we don't forgive others it is a sign that there is no grace in our lives, therefore we are not forgiven! After all, all my sins were future sins when Jesus paid for them. So, is this a pseudo catholic teaching that makes my seeking of forgiveness like a mass in which Jesus is re-sacrificed every time I say 'sorry' because it certainly isn't the biblical doctrine that Jesus died once for my sin and is now sat down at the right hand of the father.

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Christ-love. What you say is right of course. However can forgiveness take time, when say someone has harmed your wife or children. Perhaps like the evil young man that killed 17 students recently? It may be a process perhaps? Just wanting more dialogue. God bless.


I often think sensitive subjects (in which the person posting may have a vested interest) like this one are hard to discuss meaningfully online - it isn't an adequate medium to convey all that needs to be conveyed - the situations you highlight are especially difficult. I can overlook wrongs done to me, but if someone does the same to my wife it makes me angry that is because such behavior towards my wife brings out the alpha male in me - and although sometimes that is sanctification issue, it isn't always because actually she is my responsibility and I am to protect her (even lay down my life for her) - so sometime it can be righteous anger. So, it's a hard subject to address in this medium.


It is also worth asking what forgiveness is. Too often theological concepts are conflated - so we end up with our forgiveness having to look like God's forgiveness, propitiation, atonement, adoption etc. At it's centre forgiveness is letting go of anger and resent towards the person for an offense caused - and yes that can be very hard! However no one said following Jesus was going to be a walk in a park did they? But here is the thing - forgiving others isn't something that we have to do on our own, rather it is something that we are enabled to do through the grace of God that he daily pours into our lives, so when we struggle with this letting go we turn to him in prayer and ask for his help.


I trust some of what I said might prove enlightening.

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I think I'll never forget the line delivered by Ingrid Bergman in the movie, "The Bells of St. Mary's", when she, as a Nun who taught school there at St. Mary's, needed to forgive what she believed was a grievous wrong done to her by the priest, played by Bing Crosby: "Lord, remove all bitterness from my heart." 


So, even just last night, I found myself once again struggling to even understand just how to go about forgiving some extremely grievous wrongs done to both my husband and myself by family members, as well as those we thought of as friends, since, just when I'd begun to think I'd finally overcome the animosity towards many of them, thoughts about what had been done to us began dredging up the same old hurt and accompanying bitterness  with it, I found myself crying out to the Lord, asking for His help to do just that--for Him to please help remove all that same kind of bitterness from my own heart--I even stopped trying to understand why that same emotional pain continued to drive me to despair, since I could never seem to let go of all the hurt no matter how hard I kept trying, and so I just asked Him to help me let go of it, and help replace the bitterness with the love He has for those same people--now, I need to trust that He truly will help me with all of that, and stop worrying, and start believing that it will all be fine in the end, thanks be to God the Father, and to the Lord Jesus Christ--believing that I truly can trust in the Lord, and His ability to keep me safely in His care, while also helping me with this awful, hurtful burden my heart has been saddled with due to all that happened. I realize, now more than ever, that so long as our struggles lead us to ask the Lord for His help, we can definitely trust that He will most definitely give us the help we need so badly.


This might be a very well-worn verse that everyone seems to know about, but for me God truly gave it to me as a literal 'lifeline', and I still hang on to it to this day:

" Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding." (and the verse that goes with it) "In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5 & 6 KJV)



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