Be Still Know
Colossians 3:13 NLT
‘Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.’
What do you do when you get caught out? As a child I quickly learned to lie or direct attention away from myself; this often worked. Becoming a Christian proved challenging, with Jesus’ insistence not to tell lies. My list of excuses disappeared and I was forced to face the reality of truth-telling. Never easy, since such truth-telling placed me at the centre of what I was agreeing or disagreeing with.
Growing up in a relatively confrontational family, I would argue white was black if it offered the opportunity of making me right. So it was I learned that argument was about winning more than about discerning truth. But now, where once I might choose to like some and dislike others, I realised that I needed to learn to be forgiving and accepting of all. After all, I would not enjoy friendship with God were he to be choosy.
Forgiveness in the Christian sense is to cancel the debt. There is nothing outstanding, everything is paid off. This is about my feelings and my gossiping, as much as about letting go of any wrong attitude.
It is journeying willingly alongside those with whom we disagree that marks true family relationships. Anything other is a mere dictatorship where one view dominates. Living with Mum we have both learned to agree to disagree and attempt to do so with grace; seeing beyond our difference to the person, and seeking to treat that person with the dignity and respect an image-bearer of God deserves. Sometimes I need to forgive myself as much as another for I judge my attitudes, unkind words and thoughts harshly. Yet my fractured humanity will make mistakes. Jesus is the compass that helps me navigate back into the channel of his love and grace.
QUESTION: Where do you need to make allowance for others, and who might need to do the same for you?
PRAYER: Lord, you have accepted, loved and included me when I was unacceptable, unlovable and disagreeable. Help me to follow your example.