Forgiveness is a Gift You Give to Yourself

Colossians 3:13- bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others.

Too often we think of forgiveness in the larger areas of someone doing something ‘really nasty’ to us. We also include hurt feelings in this when someone does something that offends.

But I love how this translation puts it: “…happens to have a complaint.”

Wow!

Do I have a complaint?

Oh, yeah.

The way they complain; they way they look; the way they dress; the way they talk; the way they don’t talk; the way they look at me; the way they eat; the way they worship; the way they drive; the way they treat me; the way they treat others; and the list goes on and on, ad infinitum ad nauseum.

It is amazing the number of different complaints we hear from people everyday, especially if you have any kind of counselling ministry.

Here we are told, however, to forgive them.

Forgive the complainers. Then (and only then) can I teach them how to forgive those about whom they complain.

Unforgiveness is like fixing a glass of poison for your enemy and then drinking it yourself. Susan St. James
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Suzanne Sommers

The verse ends with a comparison that I too often fail to take to heart: just as the Lord has forgiven me, so I should forgive others.

If  He could forgive that which sent Him to the cross, why can I not easily forgive that which only makes me cross?

Challenging Forgiveness

Colossians 3:13    bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. (NET)

Could it be that the reason we have such difficulty with forgiving others is that we are not totally aware of what we have been forgiven?

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” – {Luke 7:47 ESV}
Was she forgiven because she loved? Or, did she love because she was forgiven?

Forgiveness is a challenge for many. We demand justice; whether that be in the form of an apology or retribution, something must be done.

Does it? Why?

Why do we not rather suffer the injury, bear with the slight, forgive the offense? Why do we choose to nurture the hurt?

I have yet to completely deal with this problem in myself, though I have made much progress. It is the one problem I continue to encounter in others as I listen to their complaints (about whatever) in their life.

What is your experience of dealing with the offense from another–especially a loved one?