Colossians 3:12-17

“Forgiving Means Take and Give” is more than our theme for this week. It is a key to living as a disciple of Christ. When we draw on the abundant forgiveness Christ offers us daily, we find the forgiveness we need to offer others. In Colossians, Paul makes it clear that if we choose to receive the gifts God offers us, we will have what we need to be forgiving people.

On occasions my brother and I would argue (it was often more than that). My mom would then make us stand before each other and say, “Now, shake hands, kiss, and make up.” Shaking hands was tough enough, but our mom was serious about our achieving forgiveness and reconciliation. Thankfully she was the gift we needed to help us make up and learn to live in harmony to this day.

Paul describes what life could be like if we will accept God’s gifts and use them. We could read these verses, acknowledge their beautiful vision, think about how seldom we’ve witnessed such shining moments, and sigh, “If only.” But what if Paul’s words could become our reality rather than just our aspiration? What would happen if this passage became our prayer? We might realize that God is always ready to help us forgive. We might discover the strength we need for reconciliation as we gratefully remember that the One who forgives us empowers us to forgive one another. 

Relationships definitely involve give and take. But when it comes to forgiving, we first need to take the grace that Christ abundantly offers us so that we will have what we need to gracefully give forgiveness to others.


How is the experience of God’s grace in your life leading you to forgive someone else?


Lord, help us to fully live out your vision for us. May we learn your way of bearing with one another, forgiving one another, loving one another, and letting your peace rule in our hearts. Amen.

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