At the beginning of this New year 2020, when I asked myself what my New Year resolutions should be, I had a distinct whisper in my spirit stating clearly, ‘love more’, ‘forgive more’. I have had time to meditate on both phrases and I realise that they are interrelated; one can’t do without the other. Although a lot of people will tell you they don’t believe in New Year resolutions, may be because it sound ambiguous and like something that cannot be easily achieved, as some people will most readily tell you they find that they often break the resolutions even before the first quarter of the year. But keeping of resolutions can actually become more achievable if we break it down and make it an everyday resolution.
So you wake up every morning and remind yourself to love more and forgive more or remind yourself to be kinder, more honest, more studious or hard working or not to kill or burn down anyone’s house, not to be greedy or covetous, to serve your people better as a leader in politics, church, community etc. There are a whole list of resolutions out there, just ask yourself about areas where you can do better and viola, you will have your answer. Because, truth be told, we all can do better! We all have areas where we need to improve. Therefore we must resolve daily to be better people.
So to love more is to forgive more as I have earlier noted, if we are going to genuinely love others, we have to continuously forgive because as human beings, we are prone to errors. Our usual practice is to say I used to love and admire so and so but ever since she did this or he did that or they did this, I stopped communicating with her or him or them. Hmm, I don’t love them anymore, or I don’t like him or her anymore, we are no longer on talking terms and so on.
There is a popular Owe proverb that says if we don’t forgive others, we most likely will end up alone with no one to play with. This why forgiveness must be continuous and quick. Scripture even says “do not allow the sun set on your anger”. If you dwell too much on others’ failings, it will be difficult to forgive. The truth is we can’t forgive without loving and love covers a multitude of sins, what does this mean? It means when you genuinely love others, there a lot of things you will overlook although there are times you will have to speak up against certain bad habits you see displayed by the one you love, even God corrects the ones he loves (Proverbs 3:12 and Hebrew 12:6). Our love for others should be modelled after the love of God. What are the characteristic of love we need to model after? Love is patient and kind, never jealous, boastful, proud or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs, rejoices in the truth but not in evil, always supportive, loyal, hopeful and trusting.
Love is a universal language that everyone understands; your love should not be restricted to your kit and kin alone. And do you know that if you do not love others you are no better than a noisy gong or clanging cymbal? If you do not love, though you speak the language of angels and can prophesy or understand all mysteries, you are nothing (1Cor 13).
So, I challenge you, this New Year as I am equally challenging myself, love more, forgive more and have a grace filled and glorious year.