March 29, 2016

The Grace to Forgive

Colossians 3:1-17

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

There are some hurts in life that are hard to get over. Many of us carry around grudges, anger, and bitterness toward others for some offense committed against us. It could be as minor as someone calling us a name or as major as a spouse who walks out on us.

Where do we find the strength to forgive? At the cross. The apostle Paul urges us to forgive as we’ve been forgiven. He wants us to see others’ offenses in light of the cross. The cross reminds us that the debt of our sin has been paid. God doesn’t hold our sins against us. He doesn’t make us pay, and he wants us to forgive and to free others just as we have been freed because of Christ’s finished work.

God’s grace puts things in perspective. At the cross we remember that our debt against God was far greater than others’ sins against us. We’ve been forgiven, and we need to forgive. 

Forgiveness is not easy. Some­times it takes a long time. It also doesn’t discount sin. For­give­ness is costly. Sin cost Jesus his life, and forgiveness will cost us our right to revenge. But it is so freeing.

Ask God to help you forgive those who’ve sinned against you.

Father, our sins are great, but your grace is even greater. May your grace help us to be gracious and forgiving toward others who have hurt us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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