Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
Sometimes we need to forgive each other and sometimes we just need to bear with one another. There are things that even the people we love do that can irritate or annoy us. Personality differences can produce a rub that chafes. Those are the kinds of things we need to patiently overlook and gracefully accept. In other words, sometimes we need to put up with each other.
The word “grievances” is not found anywhere else in scripture. It means little complaints or faults. It seems God is calling us to forgive people who simply rub us the wrong way or people who we just don’t “get” — not because they are intentionally sinning against us, but because they seem to bring out the worst in us. We need to forgive people for being creatures with quirks and faults and aggravating habits. That’s all of us!
As a way of putting this into perspective, the Apostle Paul added a zinger. “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” The Lord’s forgiveness for us is in past tense. It has been signed, sealed and delivered by the blood of Christ on the cross of Calvary. The charge Paul gave to believers was to forgive — in the present tense. The word means to forgive and keep on forgiving as a continual practice.
How does the Lord forgive us? Completely. We need have no fear of God bringing up past sins or pointing out our old failures and mistakes. He doesn’t “rub it in” when we struggle with recurring sins. There is no guilt-inducing raised eyebrow directed at us. In the same way, we are to imitate the Father as we deal with people.
Is there anyone in your life who needs your patient grace?
Lord, You know I have a hard time with some people. Help me to remember that they are also Your sons and daughters. Give me strength to extend the same grace to others that You continuously offer me. Thank You for putting up with me and loving me completely.