Just sitting here near the end of a tough day.. a tough week actually, and the Lord pointed me to a verse in Colossians.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. -Colossians 3:12-13
It is so easy for me to read that and to think to myself, “I’m fairly patient, I’m fairly forgiving, I can be humble. I’ve got this.” Then I reread it and really noticed the last sentence in that verse- “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Wow. Have I really ever truly forgiven someone that way? Jesus not only forgave me, he has made my sins as white as snow, he wants to have an unhindered relationship with me despite all of the sins and wrongdoings I have committed against Him. He doesn’t hold me to the standards of what I had done in my past. Have I taken that attitude about people that have sinned against me? The world lives by this false idea of what forgiveness is. I have repeatedly been told that you can forgive somebody, but that doesn’t mean that you have to allow them back into your life. In some extreme cases of abuse, that may be correct. In most cases though, the bible instructs quite differently here. What if Jesus applied that worldly principle to us? If he forgave us, but said that he didn’t want to be near us ever again? Would that be forgiveness? No. He gave His life for us on the cross, even though he had never sinned, He took the punishment for us for sin and then God forgave all of our sins. Best part is, He forgave us AND He wants us to have relationship with Him. Have I applied that kind of forgiveness to someone else when they have asked for my forgiveness? Have I ever completely forgiven them and not held them to the standard of their sin?
I wonder what it would look like if I, and others applied this verse as it says?