1. ‘Forgive Forward’—Quickly
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
The catapult of the Christian faith is forgiving others as Christ forgave us. We are a messy lot of consistent and continual sinners, but Jesus chose to die for us so we would be forgiven.
Ephesians 4:31-32 says,“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” This truth has to reign in a Christ follower’s heart, for it drives our ability to faithfully submit our self-righteousness to God in exchange for forgiveness.
We forgive by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. ‘Forgiving forward’ is activating empathy for a tormented soul who is acting out. God commands His people to have compassion. This is not acceptance or tolerance of bullying behavior, nor does it ask us to stay silent about it. But, second only to loving God with our entire being, we are to love the people He places in our lives.
Luke 17:3-4 says,“So watch yourselves, ‘If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times a day and seven times come back to you saying, "I repent," you must forgive them.'”
In His sovereignty, God has compassion for our enemies that we cannot conjure when we’re hurting. Pray for the power to forgive quickly, for without it, we are left defenseless against the invasive weeds of bitterness.
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