To forgive is to give for

Colossians 3--12

Although the Verse of the Day for June 10, 2016 comes from Colossians 3:13, to get a fuller understanding of the subject of forgiveness, we need to look at verses 12-14 where believers are encouraged to put on spiritual attributes as they would put on a garment and change their habits.

Colossians 3:12-14 (AMP):

12 So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper];

13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive.

14 Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].

The heart of this passage relates to forgiveness, a topic of vital importance. Michael Hyatt refers to the “Dictionary of Difficult Words” and points out ten difficult but really important words: “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”

To forgive means: to send away, dismiss, set free; to acquit by a verdict; to give no punishment to the guilty person and to view the guilty person as if he is innocent. Another definition means to let loose or set at liberty (a debtor). Someone has said, “I forgive when I give up my right to hurt you because you hurt me.”

Simply put, to forgive is to love, and to love is to forgive. Remember, however, that “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”  Literally to forgive means to “give for.” You give for those who choose not to give. Colossians 3:14 makes the connection between forgiveness and love. This poem by John Oxenham also expresses a profound truth about love and giving:

Love ever lives, outlives, forgives,

And while it stands with open hands, it lives.

For this is love’s prerogative:

To give and give and give

You actually could keep adding “and give” to last line ad infinitum, for such love expresses endless giving.

There is no greater example of forgiveness than the Lord Jesus Christ. As he is dying on the cross, having been brutalized and humiliated beyond any atrocious behavior inflicted upon any mortal, offers these words recorded in Luke 23:34:

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The lyrics to the song “Please Forgive Me” reinforce the truths that we have been discussing, as we ask God to forgive us, and we, in turn, forgive others.

Please Forgive Me

For each careless word and each thoughtless deed,

For each time I failed to follow your lead,

Each time I ignored you and went astray.

And let go your hand and walked my own way.

 

Please forgive me.

Please forgive me.

Please forgive me.

Please forgive me.

Please forgive me this time.

Please forgive me each time.

Please forgive me.

 

Though I may have offended unknowingly,

I give up my right to hurt you because you hurt me.

As God in Christ Jesus has forgiven me,

I release all past hurts and I set you free.

 

I forgive you.

I forgive you.

I forgive you

I forgive you.

I forgive you this time.

I forgive you each time.

I forgive you.

 

God first gave to us so that we might live.

We give to others when we learn to forgive.

Jesus, our example so perfect and true,

Said, “Father forgive them; they know not what they do.”

 

I forgive you.

I forgive you.

I forgive you

I forgive you.

I forgive you this time.

I forgive you each time.

I forgive you.

 

Do not resist Him; He wants you to yield.

Accept His forgiveness, and you will be healed.

Each sin committed, each iniquity

Is cast into the depths of the deepest sea.

 

God forgives you.

God forgives you.

God forgives you

God forgives you.

God forgives you this time.

God forgives you each time.

God forgives you.

Matthew West sums up the comments with this insightful song: “Forgiveness.”

 

 

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One Response to “To forgive is to give for”

  1. Deborah Ann Says:

    Amen and Amen and Amen! Thank you Jesus for the grace you show all sinners, including me!

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