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Let It Go

Read This Week: Colossians 3

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. – Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

Unforgiveness. That is one terrible little adjective and discouraging idea. It ruins lives. It causes heart attacks. It splits families, ends friendships and makes people old before their time. Forgiveness. That is a wonderful noun qualifier and uplifting thought. It enriches lives, establishes relational harmony, brings glory to God and leads to greater physical and emotional health.

In Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul writes about a new life in Christ. He details how someone who has a relationship with Jesus does not behave, interact or engage in their former lifestyle. He makes it clear that things like sexual immorality, greed, anger, slander, and lying have no place in the life of a Christ-follower. But he goes on to assert what should be present and expressed in a Christian’s life.

Paul says in light of God’s love for us that has changed our lives, we are to display his will by being a people of love, hope, and peace. We should embody kindness, gentleness, patience, and affection. He then decides to put special emphasis on forgiveness and expound on it a bit by writing, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

Forgiveness that is seen in the life of a believer reflects the compassion and grace shown to the world through Jesus. It is a powerful emotion that goes against the natural tendencies of human nature, the inclinations of society and points to the transcendent beauty of God’s character and heart. A person of forgiveness understands that they have been forgiven.

A forgiving person puts others before themselves. Humility and mercy are essential to forgiveness. Before Paul tells the people to make room for each other’s faults and forgive one another, he tells them to “clothe themselves with tenderhearted mercy and humility.” Forgiving those who have wronged or offended us is difficult and cannot be done when we lack the mercy and humility that will help us see the value in others and in restoration.

A forgiving person is an encouragement to those around them. Paul says in verse 13 to “make allowance for other’s faults.” In other translations, it says to “bear with each other” or plainly, don’t give up on each other. Expressing forgiveness to someone says we’re not giving up on them and that is a very encouraging thing to both experience and witness. Being in an environment where everyone knows their shortcomings are allowed and will be forgiven if needed, is a promising environment filled with encouragement.

A forgiving person reaffirms love and peace. Love is the summary of all the things described in this passage and it perfectly fulfills what God requires of us in relationships. Therefore, forgiving someone is a quintessential loving act and the love expressed through it provides harmony, comfort, and peace. The forgiveness we are to show can console, restore and bring lasting peace to a relationship, family, workplace or community. Paul writes in verse 15, “For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.” Forgiveness is the gateway to peace.

Scenarios in life that require us to apply forgiveness will never go away. There will always be a need for it. We must pursue the understanding and practice of forgiveness. What if we individually and collectively lived in a perpetual state of forgiveness? What if we could effectively let it go? These are important questions to ponder as we seek to walk with God, display his love and live in peace.

10 Comments

  1. Brecken on June 24, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Colossians 3 had many takeaways while reading. Overall, I like that Paul brings to our attention the importance of forgiveness. Having the emotional and mental foundation to forgive and put our best foot forward will not only strengthen our current relationships, but new relationships that come into our lives as well. This approach will be another form of how we can spread God’s love and enrich the lives of non-believers around us.

    While reading, verses 5 through 8 stood out. In one modern translation, while Paul addresses what does not correlate with Christ, the poor qualities being present is described as “a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God”. Everybody struggles with acting on impulse, especially in a world filled with many materialistic things. We can impulsively buy items on the Internet, gain access to information, and post our thoughts online for likes or retweets. All of these reactions are on impulse and feeling. With so much at our fingertips, it is important to know we are blessed by the world God has created for us, yet even more important to realize we have plenty of work to do in building a positive culture by following God’s commands in the text.

    The same translation goes on with “it wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good”. As a young man, all of this has been constantly in my thoughts as I grow spiritually in a new city. I personally work on always having a positive and loving outlook on those family and friends I am closest to, as well as strangers I have very small times of interaction with. As God has forgiven us and expresses his bountiful love with each day I am blessed to live on His Earth, the least I can do is live for Him.

    There are many individuals stuck in their old habits and need God’s love present in their day-to-day. As His disciples, the Word assures me that simple acts of kindness are wonderful starting points in helping others with their struggles and/or bad habits, as well as maturing through our own journey. Words and actions in this life reflect how others perceive Christ’s followers and His message for all of His children. I am excited to express this mentality through my personal thoughts and more of my interactions in the future.

    • Jason on June 25, 2019 at 1:14 pm

      I appreciate your comment, Brecken. Thank you for the insight and for making an application to your own life from the Scriptures especially around difficult topics like forgiveness and changing our lives. This statement stuck out to me:

      “I like that Paul brings to our attention the importance of forgiveness. Having the emotional and mental foundation to forgive and put our best foot forward will not only strengthen our current relationships but new relationships that come into our lives as well. This approach will be another form of how we can spread God’s love and enrich the lives of non-believers around us.”

      I like how you highlighted the positive ramifications and future implications that forgiveness has on our lives. It not only contributes to our future physical health but it can greatly contribute to our future spiritual health and to the strength and depth of future relationships. Jesus taught in a “Seventy Times Seven” analogy (Matthew 18:21-22) of forgiveness not to put a specific number on the times we forgive, but on the fact that forgiveness is an ongoing process that will require an ongoing application. We must always forgive and if we learn to do that in present situations and relationships, future ones will benefit.

      If we can allow God to help us learn to forgive out of a heart of gratitude for the way He forgave us in Christ, we will become a holistic, forgiving person and not just a person who occasionally and selectively forgives. It will be a part of who we are and our spiritual DNA so that all relationships, present and future, will benefit and God will be glorified in our actions as a new creation.

  2. almaschmidt on June 26, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    This week in Colossians 3, God gave me a song called “Keeping Our Mind on You”:

    We’re keeping our mind on you, we’re keeping our mind on you
    We’re keeping our mind on you, LORD

    Your gentle ways, kind spirit, and tender heart
    When we’re in your spirit giving you praise
    Our hearts will feel your peace, hope, faith and tender love

    It’s overwhelming knowing your most precious gift is eternal
    Treasures with you, treasures with you

    We’re keeping our mind on you, we’re keeping our mind on you
    We’re keeping our mind on you, LORD

    God is saying to us that when we focus on Him, our lives are so much better. He wants us to have a fulfilled heart to live in peace, harmony, and love.

    • Jason on June 27, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Thank you, as always, for your song as an offering of worship to God, Alma. I agree that focusing on God and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives in such a way that we have the mind of Christ. Your lyrics and comments, especially your closing comment about peace, harmony, and love, reminded me of 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 and how it correlates to the content of Colossians 3 and the new life in Christ. It says:

      “For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except for the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

      The mind of Christ is such a gift God has given to us through His Son. The ability to know the heart of God and to express and live out his character every day and in every situation. Thank you for the reminder of this.

  3. Ken on June 27, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    It’s so true, as we keep our minds stayed on Him, we are filled with God’s perfect peace, His love flows to us and through us to others, which brings harmony and make it easier to have grace and forgiveness. Letting go of unforgiveness and trusting God to give you what you need, is key to being in perfect peace and enjoying fulfilling relationships.

  4. Heidi on June 28, 2019 at 7:30 am

    Good morning to all those who read this. God loves you very much and He cares for you and He cares about everyone!

    One of God’s treasures that He showed me this week in Colossians 3:12 is for all that know Christ to be aware that God has chosen you, hand picked you to a life with Him. But you have to want to, desire His will and His ways every day. God loves it when we choose to have His heart, put on love no matter how others behave. God loves it when we put Him in our conversations.

    We choose to live in His peace, His mercy, you learn to be quick to forgive, every day we have to get better how we talk, think good thoughts, and work hard at being on God’s team. Love covers a multitude of sins.

    God gave us His Holy Spirit to help us to continue to live lives that are pleasing to Him! So I want to encourage you that today is a new day. The past is the past. Live today choosing to put God first! Trust Him that He knows what you need, ask Him to help you in whatever you’re going through. He loves you. Choose God’s way, it’s the only way to live!

    • Jason on June 28, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      Heidi, thank you so much for that encouraging word. I always appreciate being reminded that each day gives us a new opportunity to walk with God and show the love, peace, kindness, and gentleness to others that Paul talks about in Colossians 3.

      You are passionate about incorporating faith into everyday life and speak so much about living for God daily, I wanted to ask you, from your experience, what does it look like to live as a forgiving person every day? How can one practically live and apply a forgiving spirit on a regular basis in their life?

      • Heidi on July 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

        I have learned and still learning that forgiveness is a choice.
        Over the years I have studied forgiveness because I love God, I love Jesus and I’m thankful for His teachings and He is my best example of Love and forgiveness. I’m so thankful that God has forgiven me and I want to always be humble and to forgive others and Love them where their at.
        God has taught me a lot of how to love others where their at, you have to start somewhere, so start there.
        In every scene I’m in with the Lord, I ask God what do you want me to do, what do you me to say?
        I have learned and still learning to do my best to live in my new nature more than the old.
        The more I seek God, listen for my His instructions and do it when He prompts me to the better it works out for the good. I have learned over the years to also wait on God’s timing. In the mean time it’s important to keep your mind ( your thoughts on positive thinking, keep reading your bible, seek God’s will, be prepared for when the time comes, your part will help with the process to go the way God wants it to go).
        keep your heart on how Jesus wants it to go.
        Jesus loves you all. So please Him First

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