April 26, 2018

Free to Forgive

Colossians 3:12-17

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

—  Colossians 3:13

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 the gift and freedom of forgiveness. 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 have to endure from them is overwhelming.

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 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.

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.

About the author — Laurie Zuverink

Laurie Zuverink is an ordained pastor who has served in several capacities of ministry in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. Her work ties into the lives of young people, and her passion is to empower and equip the next generation of servant leaders. Pastor Laurie and her husband, Mark, have three children—one in grad school, one in college, and one in high school. Pastor Laurie enjoys deep conversations, bike rides, exploring the shores of the Great Lakes, and watching well-played soccer.

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