Forgive Everyone

Oct. 7, 2021

Scripture Readings

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13

We live in an age where finding like-minded people is easier than at any other time in history. Our son, a physicist, read the work of a scholar he admired and is now studying with him in Australia. The process was remarkably simple. I sometimes joke that if I were a pink-haired person who loved blue-tongued lizards I could find every other pink-haired person with a love for lizards and we could form a happy little group. Everyday, online, groups with a very specific focus are finding one another and communicating. One would hope it would make the world a happier place.

However, I don’t think the world is a happier place. We seem to be increasingly divided, with groups focusing more on how they differ from others than what binds them together as humans. The result is a culture of argument, offense and lack of forgiveness. There is great temptation to view somebody with a different view as “other”, and to lack patience and understanding in our dealings with them.

The book of Colossians calls us to a much higher standard. We are instructed to treat others with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. As vehemently as we may disagree with the views of another, we do not have the luxury of giving in to rudeness or anger. Proverbs 24:17 reminds us not to rejoice when our enemies fall, nor to be happy when they stumble. Instead, we are called to let the peace that comes from Christ dwell in our hearts. (Col 3:15) 

We will never live in a world where everyone shares the same beliefs. We will constantly run across those with differing political, social and religious views, and people whose views are not only different, but offensive to us. No matter how offended we may be, we must treat others with kindness and mercy, and be prepared to forgive. It’s a tall order, but this is what separates those who love Jesus from those who don’t. We hope to be forgiven when we cause offense, so we must be prepared to do the same for others.

Karen Vine