As Christ forgave
As the elect of God...forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you
- Colossians 3:12-13
How must God's elect respond to God's gift of salvation to them? How should those who have been themselves forgiven every offense behave, then, towards others?
Paul makes an explicit connection between the forgiveness that the elect have in Christ and the forgiveness that believers ought to practice themselves. "Even as Christ forgave you," Paul says, you ought to forgive -- with the same unconditional and complete absolution.
And how broadly does the command apply? If any one has anything against any one! We cannot claim that anyone is too insignificant, or that any offense is too significant, for us to pardon. Weren't we insignificant in relation to God, when he forgave us? Weren't our trespasses against him constant and enormous? And yet God was gracious. Even so, we are told, we are to exercise forbearance and forgiveness wherever we go and with whomever we come in contact.
Are you conscious of the greatness of God's grace to you? Are you aware of how utterly undeserving you are of his continued forbearance? If so, then there should be no hesitance on your part to reflect God's goodness, even to the most unpleasant and abusive of people.
Father God, I need your help and your insights. Today I have gained a better understanding of forgiving others and with your help, I fully forgive from my heart. Just as you have freely forgiven me, I forgive them. Father, I ask you to forgive me for hurting others out of my own hurt and to heal my relationships with others. I pray all of this in Jesus' precious name and by whom all forgiveness and healing was made possible. Thank you for loving me in ways I'll never comprehend. In Jesus' name, Amen.