Wednesday, June 28 | Forgiving Love
Read Colossians 3:12–14
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
The first fruit Paul identifies in his list of fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 is love. So essential and central is love in both Paul’s teaching and, importantly, in Jesus’ teaching, that some scholars believe Paul was really indicating that there is only one fruit of the Spirit (love) and that the remaining virtues Paul lists reflect the presence of love. Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples” (John 13:34–35). By our love, we will be known as Jesus’ disciples. The question becomes, what does love look like? Many Scriptures speak to this, but perhaps the most fundamental way our love is shown is by our forgiveness. When we forgive others, we are loving them in the way Jesus loves us.
- Spend a moment or two thinking about whether there is anyone who has wronged you but whom you haven’t forgiven. Maybe you’re holding a grudge, withholding love in some way, or even acting in unloving ways. Who comes to mind? What is the grievance you hold against them? What would one step toward forgiveness look like?
- Reflect on Paul’s statement “bear with each other.” Based on the context of that statement, what did Paul mean by that instruction? How well do you bear with the faults or weaknesses of others—family members, friends, strangers?
God, thank You for Your forgiveness and Your expression of love to me through Jesus Christ. I want to forgive generously and without hesitation. Build this ability into me so that it begins to be natural for me to forgive and let go. Show me where I’m holding grudges or withholding love because I have been hurt. Give me the courage and the faith to release whatever grudges I’m holding so that I may be known for grace and love. Amen.
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