“Bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you have against each other. Forgive as the Lord forgives you” Colossians 3:13
As Christians we are usually very in tune to having been forgiven by Christ, at least when we first come to faith in Him. What is much more difficult is forgiving people as we have been forgiven. We pray it every time we repeat the words Jesus gave us, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. Yet how often do you blow right passed those words without really asking, “Have I forgiven others in the same way that I want Jesus to forgive me”. Paul urges us to forgive whatever grievance, no matter what. After all, isn’t that the manner of forgiveness that we have received from Jesus?
Forgiveness is costly and painful. You don’t need to spend much time looking at the cross to know the price that was paid, the pain that was experienced for us to be forgiven. Jesus paid that price. He calls on us as His followers to be just like Him and be willing to face the pain for forgiving others. For us that pain is in a very real way, dying to ourselves. What we want in the flesh is to make the other person pay. We want them to somehow pay for they way they have hurt us. We want to somehow even the score. What would we face if Jesus approached us that way? We would be completely without hope. Forgiveness in the way of Jesus means that we take the pain. We die to our fleshly desire to revenge or vindication. We swallow our pride and carry our cross. How different would the world be if we forgave as we have been forgiven?
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The Big Picture, FORGIVENESS. In exchange for the hurt and pain that is caused by unforgiveness, He will give us the peace that surpasses all understanding for allowing ourselves to forgive. It is the most freeing thing that we can do, forgive.