Colossians 3:12-17 – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Not only are you a sinner, but you are also a victim of sinners. Just as you have done evil that pains God, others have done evil that pains you. Who owes you? Who has done the greatest damage, caused the deepest pain, and left the ugliest scar?
Forgiveness is not only a gift we receive from God but also a gift God requires us to share. Forgiven people should be forgiving people.
When you forgive someone, you treat your enemy as God treated you when you were His enemy. When you forgive someone, you leave the matter in God’s hands and move on with your life. Forgiveness does not require trust; forgiveness is free, but trust is earned. Neither does forgiveness require reconciling the relationship. Forgiving is the first step in blessing someone. In fact, blessing your enemy is the test of whether you have actually forgiven them, as Jesus says, “from your heart.” Until you can in some way bless them, you have not truly forgiven them. Why? Because God has not only forgiven you but also blessed you, and how you treat others should reflect, or glorify, how God in Christ has treated you.
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