** Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. ** Colossians 3: 12,13
We’ve come to the end of these two verses. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I have learned so much. I hope you have too. Let’s see how the Lord wraps up all of this up.
Forgiveness. It’s is a tough subject for all of us. We say we forgive others but when backed into a corner with the offender, we struggle to act like we have forgiven them. What we really want to do is hurt back. We want to be sarcastic or demeaning. We want them to hurt like they hurt us. We all know that what comes out of our mouth tells us what is going on in our hearts. Have we really forgiven if our hearts are still looking for payback?
Over the years, I have heard some say that when we forgive someone, we need to say the words and then wait for the heart to follow. I think that is a pretty fair statement. It clarifies our human state. Our humanness often gets in the way of our doing the right thing.
The thing is that the verse doesn’t end with just forgiving others. It says that we are to forgive as Christ forgave us. We aren’t supposed to deal with forgiveness in a human way, are we? Let’s take another look at Colossians 3.
Bowels of Mercies….not giving others what they deserve in punishment. From deep down, we need to be okay with being merciful.
Kindness…which in this situation is the same as mercy, right? We are kind when we want to be mean.
Humbleness of mind…this is the opposite of thinking that we have every right to fight back, to defend our position, to be more right than the other person is.
Meekness…to be gentle when we want to scream and pull their hair out!
Long-suffering and forbearing…patiently dealing with people that get under our skin. Quietly taking the insults and criticism and not treating them the same way.
So, let’s take another look at this list and think of Jesus…and us…
When we do something that hurts Him, what does He do?
Does He stop talking to us? Does He scream in our face? Does He keep us at a distance? Does He push us out of His circle? Does He get exasperated and insult us? Does He tells us “I told you so!!”?? Does He say, “that’s the last time I’m going to let her get away with that!!” ???
Or is He kind, gentle, merciful, humble and infinitely patient with all of our mistakes? Does He not calmly point us in the right direction? Does He not give us time to learn and change and see things from His perspective? And does He not embrace us with His everlasting love all the time? ALL THE TIME??? ALL THE TIME???
We all know the answer is YES!! That’s our Jesus!!
That’s why He adds the last part……** even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye**….so also do ye…so also do ye…Just like Jesus…so also do ye…..Jesus kept the best part for last…He taught us all those great qualities…mercy, humbleness of mind, long-suffering….so we can say…oh, yes, I like that….that sounds nice…I want to be like that…and then the last little word…forgive…just like Jesus…Those qualities are not just our offensive…they are defense as well. We don’t get to just reflect them when everyone else is doing the same, and being nice and agreeing with us. We need to be them even more when someone does something we don’t like.
Whatever our reason is to not fully forgive the one who hurt us, the Lord gives us the winning formula…….
so also do ye….. Be like Jesus. Forgive like Him. Be like Him. Treat others the way He treats us. All the time.
Does that mean we need to let those that hurt us back into our life?
Well,…..Are you in Jesus’s life?
** so also do ye**………….so also do we.