Essential forgiveness

I’m reminded again that the walk of faith with the Lord Jesus Christ is often challenging! When I made that conscious decision to follow Him, nearly twenty-five years ago, it was in a flurry of euphoria! I felt great: life was great; everything and everyone seemed wonderful! I thought that all who named the name of Jesus believed the same thing that I did and I expected them to respond in the same way. I was sure that my life would be an uncomplicated ‘bed of roses’ thereafter!

Time has proved that the reality is that even Christians (myself included) get it wrong and mess up with uncomfortable frequency, leaving a trail of mess, hurt and complexity. It is little wonder that the Bible has much to say on the subject of forgiveness? Keeping hold of the call to forgive one another is vital in the peace process for all concerned. The Apostle Paul urges the believers in Colossae: ‘Bear with one another and forgive one another. If any of you has a grievance… forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ (Colossians 3:13)

So, in forgiving others, we are reminded of God’s forgiveness and grace towards us. In exhorting the believer to forgive, Paul cleverly brings home the centrepiece of the whole gospel message: in Christ our outstanding debt is paid; in Him we are wonderfully and wholeheartedly released by the power of sacrifice and forgiveness!

Our lives must become a wonderful celebration of that eternal truth. Although there’s just one significant catch: if we believe we have received God’s grace and forgiveness, then we, too, must do the same, without exception; no if’s, buts or excuses… just actions!