Key Verse to Read and Treasure
Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.—Colossians 3:13 (MSG)
I’ve learned some of my best lessons about forgiving from watching children. If we leave children alone, they will work through their problems with one another. Children have a very forgiving spirit. They don’t tend to hold grudges or lick their wounds for long periods. I’ve seen children upset after a classmate kicked their puzzle, took a toy they were playing with or tore down their Lego bridge, and moments later playing a game of tag on the playground. The same person they were fighting with moments earlier are those they are laughing with over something they found funny. As long as adults don’t interfere, they will be fine. With childlike innocence they let go of an offense quickly where adults have learned to harbor grudges, stay mad or upset for long lengths of time children don’t seem to have cultivated that grudge-gene yet.
Paul reminds us to forgive quickly. We are not to spend time mulling it over, sulking over the wrong done to us, gathering a group to sympathize or commiserate with us, but forgive before we have a chance to be talked out of it by others or ourselves. Forgive before the devil has a chance to get his way, make an argument to sway, and have his say.
Forgiving quickly is the way our heavenly Father forgives us. As quickly as we pray and confess our sin God forgives. He does not say “let me get back to you,” or, “I’ll see how I’m feeling about it tomorrow.” God does not let unforgiveness fester but forgives and separates that sin from us even before we have uttered our “Amen.”
After we have been hurt, wounded, or offended God wants to help us. He wants to heal us, renew us, strengthen us, comfort, and bless us but he can’t do that until we are willing to forgive.
Some things need to be thought through before we give a final nod. Some decisions should be made slowly, after we’ve slept on it, but forgiving is not one of those. Forgiving, like anger should be done swiftly and when we have released our pain or hurt to God, we have no reason to keep it with us.
Father, help me to be quick to forgive an offense just as you forgive me quickly. Amen
On a scale of 1-10 how well do you do with forgiving quickly? What’s the longest you have held onto a grudge or nursed your pain or hurt before you forgave? Even if it’s been a while, it’s never too late to forgive!