Our scripture this morning is Colossians 3:12-15.
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.
Paul’s lesson reminds us that since we have been forgiven, we must also forgive. He tells us “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you”. This is part of loving one another as God requires.
The parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18) warns of what is in store for us if we don’t forgive one another. In Matthew 6 Jesus tells us we can’t be forgiven if we don’t do so as well. He gave us the ultimate example when He asked God to forgive those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34). If He can forgive all of our sins for eternity, certainly we can forgive those who harm us here.
Being forgiven means we are free to live in the Holy Spirit that has been given to us, gifted to go tell others what Jesus has done for us. Forgiving means letting go of the hurt and allowing God’s love to work in us as well as in the life of the offender. May we accept His forgiveness and forgive as He has taught us.
Gracious God, You sent Jesus as our savior and example that we might learn how to love You and each other. Send us to the world that they might know Your love through us. Amen.