Read: Colossians 3:12-17
vs. 13 – Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Sin is an ugly task master. When it presents itself, it is appealing and looks so enticing. Yet when it has been uncovered it is full of shame and pain. Often the pain is not just to me alone but to those around me as well. In all honesty I have known the pain of sin in my own failures and by those that are near to me and sometimes the pain is excruciating.
How did Jesus ever manage to take the sin of the world on his being in order to offer us forgiveness? Jesus, in the ultimate act of selfless love, took all the hurt and pain of sin and death in this world and carried it to the cross. This was an extremely heavy burden to bear. Yet God’s glory and power overcame this burden, conquering death and offering restoration, healing, and forgiveness to all who desire it.
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God extends to creation this amazing gift of forgiveness that truly sets us free. Yet the gift of forgiveness is sometimes hard to accept, and oftentimes we do not want to give it freely. Sometimes the wounds of past hurts are deep, and the pain we must endure from them is overwhelming. Have you ever been there? Been at the place where you know you must forgive but just cannot find the strength to actually forgive? Will we ever be free of the pain?
Forgiveness is not easy, but it is powerful and beautiful. Forgiveness does not condone the hurt against you. Forgiveness acknowledges the very real hurt you have experienced and then seeks to let go of the feelings of anger and desires for revenge. Holding on to anger, harboring grudges, and wanting an offender to feel our hurt—or even more—can quickly consume our lives and trap us in bitterness and resentment. God wants so much more for us! Forgiveness opens up the door to fully live and experience all the joy, power, and freedom that God lovingly offers us. We can be set free. May God’s love free you to forgive today.
Forgiving God, you offer to us the beautiful gift of forgiveness. Work in us so that we can freely offer this gift to others. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.