The Power to Forgive
Lord, thank you for this new day and for a new opportunity to celebrate the indwelling of your Holy Spirit and the power to live as you direct. Amen
12 These are the clothes you must put on, then, since God has chosen you, made you holy, and lavished his love upon you. You must be tender-hearted, kind, humble, meek, and ready to put up with anything. 13 You must bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against someone else, you must forgive each other. Just as the master forgave you, you must do the same. 14 On top of all this you must put on love, which ties everything together and makes it complete.
Today I am sharing a translation of the passage in Colossians by the theologian N.T. Wright. I love it for its clarity. It spells out what God has done for each of us and sets out what He expects of us as His childen. We learn that He has chosen us, made us holy and lavished his love upon us. In return for His gracious activity in our lives, He compels us to be tender-hearted, kind, humble, meek, and ready to put up with anything. We must bear with one another and above all we must forgive one another.
I don’t know about you, but while I am ready to celebrate everything that God has done in my life, I’m a bit challenged by the ‘clothes’ that God is asking me to wear. I realize that if I try to be all that God expects and to do it in my own power I am doomed to fail. I have a lot of experience. However, I have come to realize it is only because of the Holy Spirit in me, and my total reliance on him daily, that the demands of this passage are a possibility. Even then, when I fall short, there is forgiveness at the foot of the cross.
I find the call to forgive the hardest of God’s expectations in the passage above. I have had a lot of forgiving to do in my life. Yet through it, I have learned that unless I recognize the depth of my own sin and focus on the immeasurable greatness of the forgiveness that God has extended to me through the death and resurrection of Jesus, forgiving others is all but impossible. The key in all of it, as Paul writes, is ‘putting on love which ties everything together and makes it complete.”
Lord, thank you for being my Father and for showing me the greatness of your love and forgiveness today and each day of my life. Amen