How Love Loves

One of the most beautiful pictures that I believe best shows love, is the image of Jesus being nailed to the cross. 

With a crowd of people railing insults at Him, screaming ‘crucify Him’, spitting at Him and being unreservedly mean things to Him, Jesus chose to remain on the spot of ridicule.

He was mocked with the sign post above His head, reading “Inri” which means “King of the Jews.” This was to challenge His authority. Who dares challenge a King? The authority associated with that position should be enough to cause anyone to think twice before approaching it. They had seen the numerous miracles, they had been partakers of the diverse healings and I bet a good number of them had eaten of the bread and fish which He provided several times. However, the taste had long worn off from their tongues and their minds very quick to forget all the good He did for them.

He did no wrong to them. He was righteous, blameless, sinless and most importantly full of love. Jesus’ response to such hatred was profound, He kept His arms open. As far as the east is from the west, He still loved them. In fact, He could tell that His father was enraged at the sight of His dear son being humiliated, so He said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 22:34).

Love sees that people’s acts of love or otherwise, stems from their library of knowledge. Knowing the way of love therefore demands that you practice its ways even to those who are ignorant of it and especially to them. Love is a higher order, hard on the flesh and only for the mature.

It was love that kept Jesus on that cross and not the nails. The nails had no power to hold Him down. I can almost imagine the nails shuddering because it was the thing to pass through His hands. I can almost see the discomfort in the wood, because its maker's weak body was leaning against it. The sun refused to shine, the earth quaked. Creation screamed ‘abomination’ while His image, the one He had so graciously taken His time to make screamed ‘crucify him.’ We, not being as sensible enough as creation, did not recognize our maker.

The blows that are prone to hurt most are the ones from persons dearest to us. The Bible says A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle’ (Pro 18:19 KJV). Even the Bible recognizes the difficulty of letting go of such betrayal but watch what Jesus did when faced with such an instance - He forgave, not laying any charge against us not even for a second. 

Love's best work is done by it not seeking retaliation. Forgiving those that hurt us is equally as important to them as it is to us. I heard someone describe unforgiveness once as locking someone up in jail and standing guard with the keys. The person is not going anywhere but guess what, so are you. Therefore for the good of both the offender and the offended, forgiveness should be a norm to live by.

How do I forgive someone?

It could be real difficult forgiving especially if the grudge in question has existed for a long time. Some people actually do want to forgive those who hurt them but just do not know how to.

You have the power to forgive.

The first step in forgiving another is to know that the power to forgive lies within you. The Bible says that: If you forgive anyone's sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven" (John 20:23). Here, it is clearly stated that this power to forgive lies with you. Hence, do not believe a lie that you cannot do it. Denying that you have been hurt would not help the situation either. It is alright to admit that whatever the person did hurt you but you equally need to know that you have the ability to forgive them.

Words are the channel for forgiving

We forgive by our words not our feelings. Our power lies within our words. It is necessary to know that the feelings of pain and betrayal may still linger for a while. Despite this, making the choice to proclaim forgiveness starts you on the road to letting the past go. I'll give you an example, if you were not feeling too well and you wanted to get better, you would be more international about saying "you would get better". Your body may still be hurting but if you continued on that road, eventually, your reality would align to your words. This is the same with forgiveness. Eventually, you would start feeling the burden of the pain reduce and love would start being developed in your heart for this person.

Confrontation or otherwise

Not everyone has the maturity to handle conflict well, hence your decision to confront the person that hurt you would not always be necessary. In a situation where the person would not see the error of their ways, you speak louder to them by choosing to forgive them and act in forgiveness. Confrontation could lead to more conflict than intended. Hence be more concerned about the decision you have made in your heart to forgive.

Stop rehashing the past

This is usually more difficult to practice than said. Ensure you do not find opportunities to tell everyone who would care to listen how badly you were hurt. Continuously speaking about how you are hurt only reinforces the pain you feel. If you must talk to someone about it, make sure it is with the purpose of trying to relieve yourself and not relive the past. There is a difference between the two and knowing the difference is key. Hence, relieve yourself with someone who you are sure is bound to have wise counsel for you and not propagate the hurt you are already feeling.

Practice praying for them

There is no way you can continue to stay angry with someone that you are praying for. It's impossible. Take out some minutes to pray for whoever it is that has hurt you. Whenever, the pain flashes back into your heart, know that another opportunity has presented itself for you to pray for them. You know the Bible encourages us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44)

Take advantage of opportunities to help them

Once you decide to go on this road of forgiveness, God would bless you with an opportunity of a lifetime. It may not feel like a blessing at the time, but you bet believe it is one. A need would arise in such an individuals life that God would equip you to fulfill. This is not a time to gloat and remind them what exactly they did wrong to you. However, this is another way to ease your heart of the pain. Take advantage of it and if you can do more, please do. Ensure whatever you do stems from a sincere heart.

Continue with the process

All you do in the effort to forgive really is a continuous cycle. You may not see the results immediately but if you continue following these steps you would eventually feel your heart respond to them in a different way. One thing that happens is, you start seeing them through the eyes of love and compassion towards them is birthed.

Practice pre-forgiveness

This step would come in handy if you want to avoid going through all the steps above every single time someone hurts you. This is like your insurance policy. Being human, we are prone to hurt people and be hurt ourselves. One way we can avoid being offended, is to forgive people before hand, that way when the offense comes, there is no staying power for it. This is what Jesus did when He died on the cross. He does not have to go back to the cross to forgive a lie you just told 10 minutes ago. Hence, practicing pre-forgiveness would only prove beneficial for you.

In conclusion, I would like to add that forgiving someone is not the same thing as trusting them. If someone breaks your trust, they have to intentionally work at earning your trust again. Forgiveness however is a free and unearned gift. The reason we forgive others freely is because Christ forgave us freely hence, we have no right to do otherwise.

If you are have any questions or comments, please share with us in the comments box below, I'd love to hear from you.


Author, Script Writer and Blogger on love, life and marriages. I believe our society would be a healthier place when people honour the right perspective of marriage.

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