A Tall Order

Let’s absorb this great verse, Colossians 3:12-13, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

This speaks powerfully to me because I have been weak when it comes to having complaints against others. We’ve all known a neighbor who may borrow a cup of sugar and then replace it with a pound, just as we’ve known those neighbors who may borrow a pound of sugar but never return to you so much as a teaspoon. I’ve been dividing these people into two groups: those I’d gladly loan more sugar to, and those for whom I wouldn’t answer the door.

In other words, I’ve been unforgiving of my debtors.

My wife has called me out on this a number of times. I’ve been stubborn and unwilling to stop considering some people as exceedingly gracious by comparison, and others as, well, something else, something less.

As I absorb Colossians 3:12-13, I realize the sin of my ways and resolve to open my door to whoever knocks. Yes, even if they want to borrow another pound of sugar, or need another favor I suspect won’t be reciprocated, because I remember God forgave us even though we crucified his Son. How can I, then, withhold grace over a paltry pound of sugar or a deed not reciprocated?

Of course here I use sugar figuratively; insert anything or any gesture in place of sugar and you get the same picture. Some people appreciate what you do and others don’t. But just as God forgives us again and again even though we prance around unappreciative of His blessings or disobedient of His word, we are called to forgive everyone.

It’s a tall order, but you can’t sing in harmony with the Heavenly choir if you don’t commit yourself to forgiving everyone. I’m trying. What are you doing about it?

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I am a depraved, morally bankrupt wretched sinner through and through. I’ve attended church sporadically most of my life, haven’t spent a minute in seminary and only recently gave the Bible more than a cursory review. I’ve attended exactly one theology class and I dropped out of that. However, in spite of my moral infidelity, I’ve come to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I’ve learned my salvation isn’t the result of what I do, but rather what Jesus has done on my behalf. I didn’t find the Holy Spirit, He found me. And in our relationship I have invited Him to change me, to use me for His purpose, to conquer my will with His own. Praise the Lord, for even an unworthy, chronic sinner like me can experience and give testimony to His glory!
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