1 Corinthians 13:4-5, NIV: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

Is forgiveness something reserved only for big offenses? It is often the minor offenses that fester over time, or weaken even the strongest ties. Consider when someone doesn’t say “Thank you.” If you hold on to it, how does it affect your future encounters with that person? Suppose a friend forgets your birthday. Do you harbor the hurt, or perhaps determine to punish the person by neglecting to notice his/her birthday? Maybe a close friend loses touch over time. He doesn’t call or write. Out of the blue he writes and asks how he might pray for you. “Why now?” you may wonder. But have you yourself been calling or writing? When was the last time you contacted him/her and asked how you can pray for him/her? The reason’s to “why now,” may be as simple as feelings of regret that time, or anything else, was allowed to separate; it may be as simple as God putting your name on his/her heart. Are we so easily offended by someone when he/she doesn’t do what we think he/she should; yet, we ourselves are likely guilty of the same? “Love is a two-way street,” as they say, and perhaps forgiveness is what fixes the potholes. “Love is patient… kind…is not self-seeking…not easily angered…keeps no record of wrongs.” Love doesn’t harbor some offenses while forgiving certain others. Love extends grace and understanding. Love does not wait to be loved first; but, looks for opportunity to love--even those deemed undeserving.