Living Out Strong Relationships - Part 5

Opening Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for your forgiveness through Jesus. Help me to forgive others just as you forgive me. Amen

 

Read: Col 3:13-14

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 

Reflect:

Why is it so easy to harbor ill-will towards someone? Surely they deserve it, right? I tend to be a type-A personality. I like things in their place and a plan for everything. So when someone leaves something where it doesn't belong or derails my plans with spontaneous activities, I can take it as a personal offense. It's easy to shrug it off on the outside but hold it against them on the inside. Most of the time the person doesn't even realize they have offended me. This is probably because their "offensive" behavior is not offensive at all and is usually such a small thing reasonable people wouldn't even pay attention to it. The big stuff can be even harder to forgive and even deeper of an offense.

Apply:

No matter how small or large the grievance God is calling us to forgive wholly. Paul makes it very clear in the second part of verse 13, "Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Jesus forgave those who mocked him and spat on him while he was hanging on the cross so that those very people may have eternal life. He forgave the people who beat him and betrayed him. Jesus forgave everyone. And this is Paul's call to us and to the Colossians.

Forgiving everyone for everything cannot be done with a fake smile or half-hearted statement. It needs to come from the love that Jesus gives us. Jesus' love is the only well deep enough to be able to forgive as much as Jesus did. Jesus' love is the only power strong enough to keep us on the narrow path. His love is what brings the whole Gospel to life and runs through every word written in the Bible. It is through God's love and the death and resurrection of Jesus that is going to bring us to heaven for all eternity. God is love and it is everywhere. Use it to follow His ways.

 

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord, let your love flow through my life so that it may pour out onto others through me. Amen.

Terry Schneider