1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
When we read or hear of evil, instead of rejoicing believers should feel grief and concern. Currently much news is so horrific, that it is depressing to read or listen to the sin and havoc in our world. We are not to bury our heads in the sand and we should pray for our nation, but it grieves us that there are so many sinful people and
even some who are so misguided they think their evil deeds are helping society.
Paul wrote that we are to keep no record of wrongs, but pray for the offenders and trust they will accept Jesus as their Savior. Then we will be able to rejoice in the truth that Love protects and gives hope to the lost.
Once when Jesus had taught a lesson on forgiveness, Peter asked Him if we are to forgive our offender seven times. Jesus’ response was not only seven times but seventy times seven. I believe Jesus meant there is no limit to the times we must forgive an offender. Then we will keep no record in our minds of the number of times we have forgiven: for we have been able to forgive and forget.
As believers when a wicked person is detected and punished, we may feel a sense of relief that a criminal is no longer at liberty to cause us harm, but we should pray that through this experience he or she will come to know Jesus. I’ve never been actively involved in jail or prison ministry, but it’s an important ministry: because every criminal was created in God’s image and has a soul. Also each is some mother’s daughter or son who went astray.
Father, You love the thousands of prisoners; please give us love sufficient to pray for them and that some who have never trusted You, still do so. We praise and thank You in Jesus’ Name for saving us. Amen.