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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

One Who Is Forgiven Should Forgive

In review of Colossians 3:13 it says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others”

Bottom Line:
Put up with each other, and forgive those who do you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you.

What this means to me:
I am to make allowances, be gentle and ready to forgive others faults. I am to remember how the Lord God has forgiven me.

Today's verse comes from Colossians chapter 3 where Paul is speaking on living the new life. He tells us that since we have been raised to new life with Christ, we should set our sights on the realities of heaven. We should think about the things of heaven, and not those of earth.

We are to put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within us. We are to not be greedy or idolaters, worshiping the things of this world. And now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. We are to put on our new natures and be renewed as we learn to know our Creator and become like him. In life, all that matters is Christ.

Since God has chosen us to be the holy people he loves, we must clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  We are to make allowances for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends us, remembering that the Lord forgave us. Above all, we are to clothe ourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  We should let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts. For as members of one body, we are call to live in peace and always be thankful.

We should fill our lives with the message about Christ. Teaching and counseling each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. Whatever we do or say, we should do so as representatives of our Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Given this do I really show people grace? It is what God wants me to do, however it’s not always easy to do especially when I focused on myself.

It’s much easier to be selfish instead of being gracious. I know I see the slow counter clerk at Starbucks as a five-minute interruption to my day rather than somebody who might be new or struggling to keep their job, or who just got the worst news of their lives five minutes before.

I see the one in my family who’s struggling right now as a drain rather than seeing them hopelessness over a desperate situation. I see the person who cut me off on the freeway as the physical embodiment of Satan instead of just a jerk who is in need of God’s love.

The thing is, I’m a jerk in need of God’s love. That’s why Jesus Christ came into this world. And to show people grace is to remember what God has done for me. The ultimate way God shows me grace is by forgiveness. And the ultimate way he asks me to show grace to other people is by forgiving them.

Colossians 3:13 reminds me to, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT).

Lack of forgiveness will keep me stuck in the past. I need to forgive others for my own sake. Forgiveness is not saying that what somebody did was right or that there shouldn’t be consequences for what happened. It just means that you let go of your anger and hurt and give it to God so that you can move on with God’s purpose.

So when I feel like I can’t be gracious toward someone, I need to bring to mind that Jesus forgave me. Remembering the grace God has shown me will give me the strength to be gracious to and forgive others.