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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”—Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)
Have you ever found yourself facing a difficult situation and a well-meaning friend or loved one tried to offer advice but only made matters worse? That was the situation Job faced in the Old Testament, as his three friends came to comfort him after hearing of his tremendous loss of loved ones, health, property, and reputation.
However, from chapters 3 through 31, we witness a rather unusual scenario unfold. Instead of offering him words of compassion, Job’s friends judge him by implying his suffering was a direct result of sin; that God’s wrath was being poured out over Job because he deserved it.
What was Job’s response? After some harsh words of his own (Job 16:2-3), he ultimately prays for them at God’s command (Job 42:7-9). What was the result? God restored Job’s health and gave him back twice what he had lost.
Among the lessons we can learn from this story is that our own healing is often tied to our willingness to forgive others who offend us. Rather than being resentful and bitter toward his friends, Job chose to pray for them in spite of their offenses and was ultimately delivered from his suffering.
You see, bitterness and resentment are not only ungodly, they are absolutely devastating to our spiritual health. As the old saying goes, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
Today’s verse clearly states forgiveness is not an option for Christians. In light of the tremendous debt Jesus paid for our sins, we are obligated to forgive others. In fact, Paul doesn’t say it’s optional, he says “so you also must do.”
Matthew Henry puts it this way: “But it is our duty to forgive one another in such cases; not to bear any grudge, but put up with the affront and pass it by. And the reason is: Even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. The consideration that we are forgiven by Christ so many offenses is a good reason why we should forgive others. It is an argument of the divinity of Christ that he had power on earth to forgive sins; and it is a branch of his example which we are obliged to follow, if we ourselves would be forgiven. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Matthew 6:12.”
DIG: Is there someone in your life that you’ve been holding a grudge over for an offense they committed against you? What impact has it had on your walk with the Lord?
DISCOVER: Read the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:21-35. What is Jesus saying to you about forgiveness in this story?
DISPLAY: As you consider all of the sins—past, present, and future—Jesus died to pay for on your behalf, ask God to make you the kind of person who is eager to forgive others.
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Rob Nieminen is a seasoned writer and editor who has written devotionals for Calvary since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. He serves in the Worship Ministry at Calvary Boynton Beach and is an avid reader, an erratic golfer, and an aspiring photographer who loves to cook and spend time with his family.