Forgive One Another

Scripture: Colossians 3:13, ‘Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’


Observations: Like in Ephesians 4:2 Paul again tells Jesus’ followers to ‘bear with one another,’ but while in Ephesians it’s not until verse 32 that Paul tells them to ‘forgive one another,’ here Paul combines both ideas into one verse. The way we bear with one another is by forgiving ‘whatever grievances you may have against one another.’ The word Paul uses here is an important word. In the Greek it’s charidzomai, which is based on the word charis, which means grace. Charidzomai in its most basic sense is the act of giving, but it often carries the sense of doing so in a gracious or generous way. Jesus graciously restored people’s sight (Lk 7:21), people ought to graciously forgive others debts (Lk 7:42-43), just as God gave us his own Son, how will he not graciously give us all things (Rom 8:32), and the Spirit helps us understand what God has graciously given us (1 Cor 2:12). The point that Paul wants to make is threefold. Firstly, we must choose to forgive whatever grievances we may have against others. Secondly, such forgiveness is not their right, rather it is an act of grace, it is undeserved. Thirdly, we ‘forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ God’s grace towards us in Jesus Christ is what ought to motivate our grace towards others.


Application: What grievances or complaints do you have against others? We shouldn’t just bear up with such things, rather we should forgive them. We should give people the gift of not holding their sins or faults against them. Just like God graciously forgave us in Jesus Christ, so we should do the same for others. This isn’t easy. Often our grievances are legitimate, we have been wronged. But just as we wronged God and he forgave us, so we should forgive those who wrong us. Think of the first grievance that comes to your head and plan to forgive that person today.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, it’s so hard to forgive people like You have forgiven me. Lord, I confess that I lack the grace that You showed me in Jesus Christ. Help me to understand the extent of Your love for me and help me to love others in the same way. Lord, may I not hold on to my grievances, and may I not just bear up under them, but help to forgive just as You have forgiven me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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