Always Ready to Forgive
- Date: January 30, 2004
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."(Colossians 3:13)
- From Spiritual Life - Spiritual Fruit
Colossians 3:13 tells us to forbear and forgive one another. Forbearance and forgiveness frequently work in conjunction with one another. How ready are you to have a spirit of forgiveness? Forgiveness is the ability to set aside and no longer hold this offense to their account as you relate to others. The Greek "apheimi" means "to send forth or to dismiss". You may say, "The way that guy dresses offends me; the car that guy drives offends me, the movie he watched offends me." Why not be more forgiving than offended? Why do you perceive your conscience to be the highest moral standard? Even if you're correct, how do you relate to others when they don't meet your standards? If you have that kind of a loveless attitude, you're not approachable. If you're going to help and forbear one another, you need to be approachable. If you're not approachable, people won't even be around for you to forbear them. Then the Body suffers, because the whole purpose for the love of God is to build up and mature one another into the very stature of Jesus Christ.
The psalmist says, "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared [reverenced, honored, esteemed]" (Ps. 130:4). "Lord, I revere You. You make me want to come to You because You love me with longsuffering, patience, kindness and tenderness." Love is approachable. Are you? Or is there always a standard? Is instruction your solution to every situation? Sometimes encouragement or a word spoken in season is the power to motivate and set an individual free. How do we relate? Are we kind and tenderhearted? Do we relate to one another as champions of the truth with a spirit of meekness? This is the real fruit of the Spirit and the life of maturity.
Someone who is legalistic (one that has all of the rules) has a weak conscience. Most people with weak consciences think they're the ones that are strong. But if we really are the mature party, then we bear the infirmities of the weak, bring encouragement and lift up the hands that are hanging down. Sometimes there are actual offenses in which a brother or sister sinned against us. A brother said he would come to help us move, but he didn't show up. We put every label on him from slothful to liar. Now we have this conflict and build this case about everything that's wrong in his life. What we are really upset about is that it took thirty minutes longer to move our stuff because the brother didn't show. Is that worth killing our brother over? Are we going to judge their whole life based on our move? Sometimes we're even so quick to pass judgment without knowing why he wasn't there. As he was coming over, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to him to go to another brother's house and pray; and God raised them up. Or, as he went to his car, he led a man to the Lord who was in need. We're so quick to build the case, but we need to be quick not to think evil or rejoice in iniquity. Where are you today with living fruit, the character of Jesus? How do you relate today? Don't live in the mechanics of forgiveness, but in the spirit of forgiveness! Are you ready to forgive?