Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Forgive As Christ Forgives

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHow many times have we prayed the Lord’s Prayer – the Our Father – as some call it? In that prayer – using the ecumenical and traditional versions found in the United Methodist Hymnal – we say – Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us – or – And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. I always wrestled with those words.

The reason I wrestled with those words – was because it was not part of my makeup – my natural – normal – makeup – to be a mercy person – a person that easily forgave. I imagine I’m alone here – but confession is good for the soul – so there it is!

If someone harmed me – and I have been harmed a great deal in my life – not as much as some I’m sure – but enough to have experienced harm. I have been bullied – I have been assaulted – I have experienced ridicule for my noises (Tourette Syndrome) and – made fun of for my faith. Please don’t hear that I haven’t done my share of sin here – I am no saint on my own but only by the grace of God. What I am trying to express is that it has been hard for me to forgive in the past – and for legitimate reason – I feel.

Let’s read today’s passage in partial context. It was this passage and others like that have helped me to begin to forgive others. I hope it helps others too. Colossians 3:1–17 – 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Another passage that helps me is this one from 1 John 4:19 – We love because he first loved us.

So in review – many of us have been praying the Lord’s Prayer for most of our lives – where we ask God to forgive us as we forgive others. We express our love to God – only because He first loved us. I’ve come to realize that unforgiveness is not an option if I intend to walk with my Lord. I hope you see the same thing.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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November 24, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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