A Key to Forgiveness
In Colossians 3 Paul continues to roll out the nuggets of truth that make his reader think. If only these nuggets of truth were more popular than chicken nuggets! Anyway, I hope that you are taking the time to read the chapter each day and following along. If so, you are being introduced or reminded of spiritual truth which can change your life. In this chapter Paul talks about “putting off” the old man and the sin that comes with the flesh and “putting on” the new man that is possible with the Spirit of Christ. Here is how he begins the description of the new man: 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Many people struggle with forgiveness and I don’t intend to imply that forgiveness is “simple” in all cases but here in Colossians we have a clear teaching of a key, perhaps the most important key, to forgiveness. Paul says that we are to forgive because Christ has forgiven us. The forgiveness of our sin leads to our forgiveness of the sin of others who have wronged us. But other parts of the Bible make it clear that it is not simply “motivation by example” that is involved here. We are not to forgive solely because of the example of Jesus. I can watch again and again a man pitch a baseball at 98 miles per hour or run the 100 meters in under ten seconds but those examples will not enable me to do the same feats. Rather what Paul is referring to as that when we have been truly forgiven by Jesus we are indwellt with the Holy Spirit who enables us to forgive. We have the power AND an example to follow.
Please do not settle for a lack of forgiveness in your life. If you have received Jesus Christ then you have the ability…so do it. It is a quality of the “new man” that you are in Christ.