THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18
bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive
Colossians 3:13 (ESV)
RELATIONSHIP BREAKTHROUGH: FORGIVE QUICKLY
Old Joe was dying. For years he had been at odds with Bill, formerly one of his best friends. Wanting to straighten things out, he sent word for Bill to come and see him. When Bill arrived, Joe told him that he was afraid to go into eternity with such a bad feeling between them. Then, very reluctantly and with great effort, Joe apologized for things he had said and done. He also assured Bill that he forgave him for his offenses. Everything seemed fine until Bill turned to go. As he walked out of the room, Joe called out after him, “But, remember, if I get better, this doesn’t count!”
We may smile at this story. Yet what a clear picture this gives of the way we sometimes treat one another. Daniel and Bonnie taught us in the message that the forgiveness we have been shown by God is the same forgiveness God wants us to have for each other. According to Psalm 103:12, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” God doesn’t bring up our forgiven sins of the past, and we must learn to not bring up forgiven sins of the past in others’ lives.
Garth Brooks has a song which speaks of unforgiveness: We bury the hatchet but leave the handle stickin’ out, We’re always diggin’ up things, We should forget about, When it comes to forgettin’, Baby, there ain’t no doubt, We bury the hatchet, But leave the handle sticking out.
Is that you? Do you offer forgiveness but continue to bring things back up that you said you had forgiven? Aren’t you glad God doesn’t treat us that way? Ask God to help you forgive others the way He has forgiven you.