“Freeing Forgiveness”

This Weeks Meditation:  “Freeing Forgiveness”
Read: Colossians 3:1-17

One of the hardest things to do in life is to forgive someone when they have wronged you.  If you have lived very long in this world you undoubtedly have experienced this.  But one of Christ’s instructions for us in His Word is that we are to forgive others in the same unconditional way that he has forgiven us for our sins.

It may be hard, but it is so important to freeing ourselves to live the rest of our life in peace and contentment.  I am always reminded of Stormie Omartian’s quote, “Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free.”  We can choose to live in the bondage of unforgiveness or we can choose to live in the freedom that forgiving others can bring to us.

In verse 13 of this Colossians 3 passage Paul says, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  We truly rob our own freedom and peace when he hold on to grudges for too long.  Forgiving someone may not repair a friendship right away or restore things to like they used to be but it sure frees the one who choses to forgive.

Perhaps you can relate to this old illustration about the farmer and his mule: One day a visitor leaned on the old fence around a farm while he watched an old farmer plowing with a mule. After a while, the visitor said, “I don’t like to tell you how to run your business, but you could save yourself a lot of work by saying, ’Gee’ and ’Haw’ to that mule instead of just tugging on those lines.” The old farmer pulled a big handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his face. Then he said, “Reckon you’re right, but this animal kicked me five years ago and I haven’t spoke to him since.”

When we have been kicked by someone it never feels good!  But after reading this passage of scripture we are reminded that kicking back or holding a grudge for the rest of our life is not what Jesus encouraged by his example or how Paul proclaims for us to live in these verses.  Remember what Stormie says, “Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free.”

Make it personal:  What baggage have you been carrying around in your life?  It’s time to lay it down at the foot of the cross and ask Jesus to help you truly forgive and move on with your life.  He has great things ahead for you!

Blessings in your week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life
Arthur Mennonite Church