Bible Society of South Africa

Free to forgive – 26 April 2021

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

12You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. 14And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:12-14GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus, in the ultimate act of selfless love, took all the hurt and pain of sin and death in this world and carried it to the cross – an incomprehensibly heavy burden to bear. Yet God’s glory and power overcame this burden, conquering death and offering restoration, healing, and forgiveness to all who desire it.

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God extends the gift and freedom of forgiveness to us all. Yet the gift of forgiveness can be hard to accept, and often we don’t want to give it freely. Sometimes the wounds of past hurts are deep, and the pain we have to endure from them is overwhelming.

Forgiveness is not easy, but it is powerful and beautiful. Forgiveness does not condone the hurt against you. Forgiveness acknowledges the very real hurt you have experienced and then seeks to let go of feelings of anger and desires for revenge. Holding on to anger, harbouring grudges, and wanting an offender to feel the same hurt they inflicted on us can quickly consume our lives and trap us in bitterness and resentment.

God wants so much more for us! Forgiveness opens a door so we may fully live and experience all the joy, power, and freedom that God lovingly offers us.

May God’s love free you to forgive today.

Prayer: Forgiving God, you offer to us the beautiful gift of forgiveness. Work in us so that we can freely offer this gift to others. Thank you, Jesus. Amen

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