Ã¢â‚¬Å“Make allowance for each otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive othersÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â (Colossians 3:13 NLT).
We are all jerks in need of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s love. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why Jesus Christ came into this world. And to show people grace is to remember what God has done for us. The ultimate way God shows us grace is by forgiveness. And the ultimate way he asks us to show grace to other people is by forgiving them.
Colossians 3:13 says,Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Make allowance for each otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive othersÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â (NLT).
People often ask me, Ã¢â‚¬Å“How can I find the strength to forgive? I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have it in me.Ã¢â‚¬Â I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have it in me, either! The only place IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve ever found the strength to forgive is to remember how much Jesus has forgiven me. When I remember that, then he gives me the strength and grace to forgive others.
Clara Barton, who founded the American Red Cross, was reminded by a friend of an especially cruel thing that somebody had done to her years before. Barton acted like she didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember it, and the friend asked, Ã¢â‚¬Å“DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you remember?Ã¢â‚¬Â Her famous reply was, Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, I distinctly remember forgetting it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
What do you need to forget? If you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forgive, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not going to enjoy GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s vision for the rest of your life, because unforgiveness will keep you stuck in the past. You need to forgive for your sake, and then you need to get on with your life. Forgiveness is not saying that what somebody did was right or that there shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be consequences for what happened. It just means that you let go of your anger and hurt and give it to God so that you can move on with GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s purpose for your life.
When that seems impossible, when you feel like you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be gracious toward someone, just remember one thing: Jesus forgave you. Remembering the grace God has shown you will give you the strength to be gracious to and forgive others.