"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
The book of Colossians in the Bible is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to a group of Christians living in Colossae, a Roman city in the province of Asia (present day Turkey). In our verse for today, Paul urges the Colossians to be patience with those around them, and to forgive others as they remember how God has given them. It is amazing that Paul was urging them to be patient, kind, loving, and forgiving. The reason? He was in prison, unjustly accused, as he writes his letter. If Paul can forgive his tormenters, and Jesus can forgive us, surely, we can forgive others!
1. Paul urges his leaders to “bear with each other.” What are some habits and actions of others that make you angry or frustrated? What are some redemptive responses to these people and actions? What would Jesus do?
2. Paul also says to, “forgive one another” if you have a grievance against another person. What are some common grievances people have against others? What, in your opinion, does it mean to forgive a grievance?
3. Finally, Paul advises his readers to, “forgive as the Lord forgave you.” What are some things the Lord has forgiven you of? What are the lengths Jesus went to in order to forgive and pay for your sins. In light of Jesus’ forgiveness of you, how should you forgive others?
1. EXPERIENCE JESUS’ FORGIVENESS. He died on the Cross for you. Receive Him as your Savior and Lord. Accept his offer of forgiveness and eternal life!
2. EXPRESS JESUS’ FORGIVENESS. In light of Jesus’ forgiveness, be gracious, kind, and forgiving toward others. After all, Jesus forgave you!
3. BE PATIENT WITH OTHERS. Knowing Jesus gives you the example and the strength to put up with the quirks and offenses of other people. As you do this your witness is enhanced and you see God show up in amazing ways!
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You for being gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love! I confess that too often, I grow impatient when things don’t go according to my plan, or when people don’t behave the way I think they should. I know this tendency is a sinful desire to usurp the authority that only belongs to You. Please forgive me, and help me to be patient with others, as You have been patient with me. Please also grant me Your grace to wait patiently for Your return, and to labor steadfastly in the meantime. It’s in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen.