For Giving

Colossians 3:1-17, “1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
 5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.  

12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Christianity is marred by its reputation and the scisms that resulted from general disagreement. Paul told the Colossians here to “bear with each other”, “forgive whatever grievances”, and “forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Now I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase, “bear with me.” I’ve always gotten the picture of “to put up with” or “to tolerate” but actually it’s meaning is very different. It’s like “to be patient with” or “to forbear”, however, “bear” can also mean “to carry”. Since “forbear” is a very old word, I’ll add it’s common meanings: “to control oneself when provoked” and “to hold oneself back from, especially with an effort”. So we’re asked to to be patient with each older, to control ourselves when we’ve been provoked, and to hold back when our first inclination would be anger and revenge. That’s one big idea for three little words. Then we’re to forgive whatever grievances. So what qualified as a grievance? It used to mean suffering and distress. So we’re to forgive anybody that causes suffering and/or distress. Finally, we’re to forgive as the Lord forgave. How did God forgive us? He forgave us for everything we ever did that was wrong, everything we are doing that is wrong, and everything we will do that will be wrong. He forgave us for the big wrong things the same way as he forgave us for the small wrong things. In other words, God forgave us completely, so we are to forgive others completely.

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...Anyway, that's just how I feel about it ... What do you think?

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