Together in Christ: 'My Responsibility to Forgive' — Colossians 3:13

Friday, January 26, 2024

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 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus told a powerful parable to emphasize how much God had forgiven us in comparison to what He asks us to forgive in each other. [1] The Lord made clear that grave consequences await any of His followers who refuse to forgive others. [2] The Lord even emphasized in His Model Prayer that God would forgive us only to the extent we have forgiven others. [3] The Bible tells us that God longs to forgive us but also expects us to pass along that forgiveness to others. Notice Paul's emphatic words to us: "Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." (The word "must" was underlined so we would not miss the divine necessity Paul is communicating.)

The Scriptures stress that forgiveness is a necessary attribute in every child of God. But forgiveness does not begin with us. We are never the first ones to forgive. God has lavished His grace, mercy, and forgiveness upon us. [4] He forgave us first and when we were unworthy of it. [5] God has promised to continually fill us with the Holy Spirit to help us love and forgive. [6] So, He expects us to forgive others!

In Christ, we "make allowance for each other's faults" and forgive each other because Jesus has already paid the price for our sins and the sins of the one who has offended or wounded us. If we do not become conduits of this forgiveness, then resentment, bitterness, and hatred will poison our hearts and grieve the Spirit of God within us. [7] So, let's ask God to empower us by the Holy Spirit to be conduits of His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness!

[1] Matthew 18:21-35.
[2] Notice these chilling words from Jesus in this parable:
"[The king said to his unmerciful servant,] 'Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?' Then, the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
"That's what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart."

[3] Matthew 6:12, 14-15.
[4] 1 John 4:7-12.
[5] Romans 5:6-11 NIV — God forgave us in Jesus when we were "powerless," "ungodly," "sinners," and "God's enemies"!
[6] John 7:37-39; Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:8.
[7] Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV.

Today's Prayer

O, dear Father, I am sorry for the times I have refused to be the conduit of Your love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. I confess that it is hard to forgive others who have hurt, mistreated, or said bad things about me. Holy Spirit, please soften my heart and empower me to be more like Jesus in forgiving others. I want to be Your conduit of love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, dear Lord. I commit to opening my heart to Your command to forgive others. I ask You to stir my memory and help me release my bitterness and unforgiving spirit toward those You are calling me to forgive. In Jesus' name, I ask for this grace and power. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 6:9-14; Ephesians 4:32, 5:1-2
  • Romans 5:6-11


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Illustration of 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.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.