We’ve seen the next passage several times in this study. We’ve learned that we need to forgive – that it doesn’t happen automatically – that we are responsible for making it happen. We’re going to look at the results of true forgiveness – how that looks in our lives. (I really like the KJV for this passage but also included the ESV because it’s a little easier to read).
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Col 3:12-15 (KJV)
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Col 3:12-15 (ESV)
If I choose to forgive, I choose to put on:
A compassionate heart (bowels of mercies)
How will these characteristics help me through the forgiveness process?
Bearing with one another means putting up with each other and not holding a grudge. How would your life change if you were able to live grudge-free? How would that impact your workplace, home, community, and church?
God’s peace will rule in my heart when I’m living in His Word and will. A lack of peace shows disobedience. When I think of him, do I feel at peace? If not, I am probably holding a grudge. I don’t show compassion, humility, and patience.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (v. 14)
How does “love” impact your interpersonal relationships?
Based on these verses, what would indicate that you have truly forgiven? Think of your friends, co-workers, family… name them one by one. Do you feel love, patience, forbearance, compassion, peace? If you don’t, you need to take some time to pray for them, to forgive them, and to choose to be more Christ-like toward them.
I can think of a few people I need to forgive. I’m sure you can as well.
Take some time to forgive in the next couple days. I’d like to hear how your choice of forgiveness has changed your life attitude (no names please – just situations).
It’s hard to think that I’m not perfect and that I need to make the steps to forgive, whether or not the person has asked for that forgiveness. I’m sure you feel the same. I will pray for you as you go through this painful process. I hope you will do the same for me.
See you Friday.