And above all things, have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 (NKJV)
There is a popular saying that goes something like this: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
It’s true. Love changes things. When you know that someone loves you, their advice is received differently than if you think they don’t care. Even if you don’t agree with everything they say, you know that their intentions are good because they love you.
Love also covers over a multitude of sins. I’m not saying that love condones sin, but when you love someone, you need to choose to be quick to forgive because you value the relationship.
Being quick to forgive doesn’t mean that you should ignore the hurt and say nothing. And I’m not saying that the Christian thing to do is to be a doormat. Don’t let people walk all over you, then claim to forgive them even though you can’t help but be resentful as they continue to hurt you over and over again. That’s not how healthy relationships are built.
If someone hurts you, talk to them. Don’t wait until resentment has built up; let them know how you feel in a respectful way. Then, regardless of how they react to you, choose to forgive. I know that forgiveness isn’t easy, but it’s powerful—especially for the one who’s doing the forgiving.
Always remember that forgiveness is not a feeling; it’s a choice. It also takes time; you’ll need to choose it repeatedly. When the feelings of anger and resentment return, keep choosing to forgive and ask God to help you. Since forgiveness is His idea, you can be sure that He will empower you to do it in Jesus’ name.