It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’
-Matthew West, Forgiveness
My memory is long.
I could probably tell you 80% (or more) of all the hurtful things anyone has ever said to me.
I may appear strong on the outside- but I am quite sensitive on the inside.
I know that I have been graciously forgiven.
I know I am to forgive.
But forgiveness is a struggle for me.
I want unconditional forgiveness, but I often give it conditionally.
In Colossians 3:13 we see that we are called to bear with one another and forgive one another, “whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”
Crystal clear here, that I am to forgive.
And what should that forgiveness look like?
Complete. Undeserved. Gracious.
As Christ has forgiven me.
In Colossians 3:12, we are reminded that we are…chosen of God, holy and beloved.
Not because of any greatness on our part, but because of His great love, we belong to Him.
Therefore, I forgive, because of Jesus.
He who is love and who demonstrated total love- in Him my motivation is found.
In His example and empowering, I can extend grace and bear with others, even when they have hurt me. I can put on love because He put on all my sin.
He wore the hurt, from me and from you, and for me and for you. All the pain we cause each other and cause Him…He strapped it on heavy…totally. He let the whip slash through- hurt upon hurt. He bore the weight of the world’s sin as an example for us to bear with one another…with the strength and understanding that He provides (see Isaiah 53).
When I really reflect upon Jesus’ sacrifice for me, the haze is lifted and my cloudy vision clears as I see the One who let go of grudges and chose to forgive in the face of mistreatment and hatred. He is strong enough to hold this sensitive heart and able to help me let go.
“Only in his presence will I be able to confront someone who has wronged me, trust someone with my messy emotions, or forgive someone in my heart” (Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman, pg. 56).
For(HE)gave and For(HE)gives that we might be united with God and live with Him and others in love; the perfect bond of unity.
1. Do you struggle with forgiveness? Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? Ask God for the strength to help you follow through with this. He’s been there and He can do the impossible.
2. Read Colossians 3:12-14. What stood out to you from this passage? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.
3. Have you accepted Christ’s forgiveness for your sins? He loves you so much that He came for you…to set you free from your sin, to restore you to the Father, to have an on-going, love relationship with you. Take some time to consider this great salvation today. We often feel like we have lots of time to decide what we are going to do with Jesus- but we really don’t know for sure. I say this not to scare you, but to encourage you to talk to the Lord about this today.
It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you
-Matthew West, Forgiveness