Scripture for Today: Col. 3:12-13 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others.”
We have one of these silk floss trees growing right down the street from us. Their blooms are beautiful and inviting, resembling the hibiscus. And their pods are full of a cotton-like fiber that some use in making upholstery. But their trunks and branches are covered with these thorn-like growths. Some tree owners even put a barrier up so the passerby does not inadvertently knock into it.
Today’s verse reminded me of this tree. A believer can seem pleasant and inviting by wearing mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and even patience. But without the grace to bear with each other’s faults we become harsh. Without forgiveness, we are like those prickly thorns and people keep their distance. Our motivation to forgive others is the realization of how much the Lord has forgiven us.
Forgiveness has got to be one of the hardest things the Lord asks of me. When I have been wronged, I feel it is my right to harbor ill will, at least until that person shows some remorse. But letting go of the hurt seems nearly impossible until I am able to forgive the one who caused it. True healing can only happen when I let that person off the hook, regardless of their attitude about it. Jesus died for my sins while I was still His enemy (Romans 5:6-8). If I am to forgive like He forgave, then I need to extend forgiveness whether deserved or not!
Lord, I need Your help to forgive.