Sunday, June 10, 2007

Forgiving Hurts We Don’t Deserve – Colossians 3:12-14

It’s truly amazing how some people attempt to justify an angry, unforgiving heart. They may believe the Lord understands why they feel a certain way. He may understand, but He doesn’t approve.

Jesus faced appalling betrayal and abandonment. He knows human emotions inside and out. But He doesn’t agree with an unforgiving attitude. The Savior had a God-centered view of forgiveness that withstood horrifying torture. We should thank God for this every morning. Why? Because we’re the ones who betray the Lord each and every day.

We’ve wronged Jesus in ways no one has ever wronged us. We’ve denied His rightful place in our lives. We’ve doubted His Word. We’ve ignored His instruction. We’ve abandoned Him and kicked Him out of our daily lives. We’ve sinned against Him and shamed Him by sinning against other people.

What is Jesus’ response to this abuse? In Matthew 11:28, He says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Do you really believe He’ll justify your unforgiveness under any circumstances? No, He won’t.

When you look toward God to excuse your unforgiving heart, He’ll answer back, “Look at the Cross.” There, you’ll discover the price He paid to forgive you. Then, you’ll understand the solemn responsibility of Colossians 3:13, which says, “Just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Just as we have been forgiven, we must now become forgivers.

Charles Stanley In Touch Ministries ©2007

Colossians 3:12-14 (Amplified Bible)

12Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

13Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

14And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

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