13 bearing with one another, andforgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone;just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Yesterday we talked about what patience meant, being willing to suffer long with your own situation or with another person, enduring a hardship gracefully. It is a choice. Today, we add “bearing with one another and forgiving each other.” Bearing with one another means we are choosing to put up with others and endure the discomfort. We can choose to suffer a hard situation or relationship because we trust the Lord to work it all out. In relationships, there are often times when people hurt us. Yet we choose our response to the painful situation. To bear with another is saying that we value them as a person God created. We will need to forgive each other and ourselves for wrongs done.
Forgiving means we do not hold that person’s sin against them, we don’t hold a grudge. We let them go. Forgiveness is agreeing with God’s plan for another person’s life. Jesus is the mediator between God and man. He shed His blood and died so that we could be forgiven and brought back into God’s family. Jesus has already forgiven every person. For those that have accepted His gift of forgiveness and received salvation, that person is totally forgiven and accepted by God the Father.
In the court of Heaven, God the Father is the Just Judge and Jesus is like our lawyer, He advocates for us. Satan is our accuser. He stands in the court of heaven and accuses every one of us day and night. If we hold another person’s sin against them, then we are agreeing with Satan’s accusations against the person. We are actually standing against what Jesus did to set the person free. When you forgive, it doesn’t excuse the person’s behavior, but it does agree with God’s desire to heal their heart and turn that person around. Our forgiveness releases them so God can do His work in that person and in us.
We can do this because Jesus did it for us. When Jesus was crucified by evil men, He asked God the Father to forgive them. Even when being put to death, He did not hold our sins against us.
Now, let’s look at several more scriptures about forgiveness.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11
10 But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
If we choose not to forgive, who gains access to us and the other person? _____________________
We must remember that Satan HATES us, all of us, and he wants us to HATE each other. If he can get us to be join in the accusations against each other, he is delighted. Then we won’t be able to join together to defeat him. We will fight each other instead of him. We won’t hear God because unforgiveness and pain clog up our hearts and our ears. We do not want to be ignorant of his schemes.
4 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
God wants us to walk (verses 1) in a manner _____________________________
(verse 2) with all ______________________ and ________________________
with __________________________, showing _____________________ for one another in __________.
(Verse 3) being diligent to preserve the ______________ of the _____________ in the _________ of _____________.
This verse is very similar to the one we’ve been studying in Col 3:12-13. What is the calling with which we have been called? Our highest calling is to be Christ-like and to do what He did on the earth. He is the Firstfruits among many brothers. (1 Cor 15:23) These verses call us to be conformed to His image.
17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
When other people hurt us, we are not to pay them back by hurting them. God is the Judge of us all. He will deal with people that hurt us and He will heal our hurt. He will work things out for the best if we can trust Him in the midst of our pain. We are called to be peacemakers. We don’t have to be best friends with people that hurt us, but we must entrust them and ourselves to God, He is our Dad.
How are we to overcome evil? __________________
In Luke 6:27-28, Jesus says, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
What are the 4 things God says to do in verses 27-28?
27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
What 3 things does God say for us to do in verse 35?
He promises two things if you do that. (Verse 35)
Your _________ will be great and you will be __________ of the Most High God.
At the end of verse 36, it says, “He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
In your journal, make a list of the offenses (words or actions that hurt you) and the person who offended you.
Take the list and out loud say, “Father, because of my love for Jesus and because He commands us to forgive each other, I forgive _______________ for ______________________. Even if I don’t FEEL it now, I will continue to forgive them out of obedience to You, and I release them to You so they can be blessed.