READ : Colossians 3:1-15
You have put off the old self . . . and have put on the new. (vv. 9-10)
In our natural state of sin, we are addicted to
unforgiveness. We relish revenge, we cling to wrongdoing, we hold anger in tight-fisted
control. In a strange way we enjoy the
hardness of our hearts. There is a sense of protection
when our hearts are hard.
Conversely, we feel vulnerable to pain and abuse when
they are not.
Lewis Smedes writes, “Forgiving is love’s power to
break nature’s rule.” It is
unnatural to forgive, and it is hard work. Katherine
Piderman of Mayo Clinic writes,
“Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. It
can be difficult and it can take time.”
Paul acknowledges the process of forgiveness. He
recalls our past way of living: anger,
covetousness, and slander. He reminds us to be a people
of compassion, meekness, and
kindness. Then, to drive it all home, he invites us to
look inside and remember God’s
forgiveness toward us. Our sin has been cleansed through
Jesus. He has revealed his
amazing love for us and asks that we demonstrate this
love to others. “Forgiving is love’s
toughest work and love’s biggest risk” (Smedes).
The journey is hard but we’re not alone. Christ’s Spirit
dwells within us. There is nothing too big that he
cannot heal, and no place too dark that he cannot go. By
his strength is the power to do the unnatural: to
overcome our addiction to sin, and forgive.
Help us all, Lord, on the journey to wholeness.