Love Kindly Suffers Long
- Date: June 13, 2018
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Epesians 4:32)
- From No Greater Love
How do you respond to individuals you have offended? Is it, "Hey, we're going to have conflicts"? And, as well as we all know each other, as intertwined as our lives are, we're going to have conflicts. How do you resolve the conflict? By you being the first one to humble yourself and seek healing. "Yeah, but I was the one that was wronged." Well, now you can be right, again. Look what he goes on to say. "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, [forgiving one another, forgiving one another-say the next three words] forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32). For whose sake? So you can't forgive for Christ's sake? "They don't deserve it." How about for Jesus' sake, just doing it? "They should be the first ones to make it right. They didn't repent the way I wanted. They didn't say the words that I wanted to hear. I don't see any change." How about for Jesus' sake just forgiving somebody like God forgave you. If you don't, the handwriting of ordinances will come back. Your sins will re-emerge from the sea of forgetfulness, and you will be cast into outer darkness if you don't forgive. "Well, I've forgiven. I just don't choose to have anything else to do with them." Then, you have not forgiven.
If aphiemi is manifesting itself, if this thing has been blotted out, if it's been cast away, then it is non-existent. Forgiveness means it never happened and if it never happened, then there can be no requisite that has to be met for us to now relate to one another. It never happened! It never happened. It never happened. "I want to believe that, but inside of me my emotions, the pain!" "…even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." So are you going to believe your emotions, or are you going to believe what God has told you to do? Are you going to be obedient, or are you going to let your emotions govern your life? "But I still feel…" Then why don't you, as an example of the grace of God and the mercy of God, why don't you just walk in faith then? Because without faith you cannot… How much of the rest of your Christian life are you going to let feelings dictate and govern your life? Do you do it anywhere else? Well, then why do your feelings direct your life in relationships? God is trying to set us free, and as He's speaking these things to us and as we were looking in the last session, God has called us to live lives that are lives of forbearance and walking in this love as Christ has loved us and obeying the Spirit through this unfeigned love, this love without pretense.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4, as the Holy Spirit begins to give us a little understanding of practical love and how it works, he starts off and says, "Love suffers long." "Well, I love this person; I just don't necessarily want to be around them." No, you don't love them, and you have not forgiven them. Stop lying against the truth! "Pastor, you don't know what's in my heart." The Holy Spirit does, and I'm just telling you what the Word says. I'm not judging your heart; the Word of God is judging your heart. You don't love anybody if you don't prefer them over yourself. So just stop lying to yourself. As we look at 1 Corinthians 13, it's a very interesting thing as it pertains to the spirit of forgiveness and forbearance. See, forgiveness is different from forbearance, and that's why we were talking about sins and conflicts. Some of our conflicts are where we're just irritated by somebody. Somebody hurts our feelings. Hurting your feelings is not a sin. If somebody sins against you, what do you do? You go to them alone. If somebody hurts your feelings, what do you do? You forgive them and you forbear them. Forbearance is just edifying them, building them up, speaking good things about them, because love doesn't assume evil. They're of the same flesh you are. They said something that hurt your feelings. Big whoopee! Like you never hurt anybody's feelings? Man, if we start having to go and try to work out everything that somebody does that we don't like, we wouldn't have time for anything else. So you forbear. You endure. You put your "big boy" pants on, and realize they're fighting the same devil you are. Amen? And you pray for them because you know they don't want to do that and act like that. Do you like it when you mess up? "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31 NIV). Love suffers long. How longsuffering are you? What is it that God is calling us to here?