Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13
If we want to have peace with others in our lives, we have to be willing to offer forgiveness. We cannot truly have peace if we harbor feelings of anger and bitterness towards them. We learn from Scripture that God has greatly forgiven us. In fact, He has extended forgiveness for every single offense we have committed against Him. He withholds no forgiveness from us. In light of His forgiveness, Scripture teaches that we are called to offer forgiveness to the people in our lives who have hurt us.
Throughout Scripture, we read about God’s forgiveness to us and our call to forgive others. For example, in Colossians 3, Paul wrote, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you” (verse 13a). Notice the strong language in this verse: “forgive anyone who offends you.” This includes everyone. There is no person who we do not have to forgive. With this call to forgive came a reminder. After encouraging us to forgive, Paul added even more strong words. He wrote, “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (verse 13b). Just think about how much you have been forgiven from sin, shame, guilt, hurt, and so much more. In light of God’s extravagant forgiveness, we have to extend that same kindness to others.
My friend, we have been tremendously forgiven. God has extended great forgiveness to us all our lives, and He will continue to offer forgiveness until our last breath. It is out of this incredible forgiveness that we are called to love. God has forgiven us greatly. Will we do the same for others?
Moving toward action
We can often become so used to hearing about God’s forgiveness that we begin to expect it and take it for granted. Let’s pause today to reflect on God’s forgiveness and practice gratitude. How has God specifically shown you forgiveness in your life? After reflecting on God’s forgiveness, write a prayer of thanksgiving to God, thanking Him for the forgiveness He has shown you. Ask Him for the courage and humility to extend the same forgiveness to others that He has shown to you.
Colossians 3:1-17 (NLT)
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
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