Colossians 3:12-13 ESV
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
In this life we are going to have enemies. And if we are following Jesus with our lives fully, and if we are sharing the truth of the gospel, and if we are refuting and bringing into the light the lies of the enemy Satan, we are going to face opposition. For Jesus said that we will be hated for his name’s sake, and that we would be persecuted as he was. However they treated him, they will treat us also. And we will be betrayed and falsely accused of wrong, and we will be maligned, and we will be delivered up to tribulation, etc.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:18-21; Jn 17:14; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13]
But in all of that we must return hate with love. We are never to hate in return, and we are never to try to get even with people who willfully do us harm. But we are to show kindness to them in return. And we are to be humble and willingly accept that such treatment is to be expected if we are true followers of Jesus Christ. But this is not to say that we don’t ever confront our attackers or abusers, for the Scriptures talk about getting reconciled with people, and that can’t happen if we don’t talk with them about how they hurt us, unless this is an ongoing situation.
And what I mean by that is that some people are living in abusive situations where a family member is habitually mistreating them and sometimes confronting the abuser just increases the abuse or else the abuser is hoping for a confrontation in order to find some reason to falsely accuse the abused. And since these are habitual situations, there probably have been multiple confrontations, but in such situations, they would go nowhere good. And then wisdom teaches to avoid such discussions with one who is foolish.
But no matter how we are treated we are to treat others with love in return. And we are to be kind even to our enemies. And we are not to be proud and resentful which just then turns to bitterness. But we must release all the pain and suffering to the Lord and let him heal us and let him fill us with his love and grace. And we must let the love of God flow out through us into the lives of others so that hopefully they will love Jesus, too.
And we must forgive our persecutors and those who mistreat us. But forgiveness does not mean we are granting permission for those who mistreat us to continue to mistreat us. For when Jesus forgives he does not grant us permission to keep living in sin. He says to “go and sin no more.” And especially if those who mistreat us claim to believe in Jesus, we can appeal to them on the basis of the Scriptures to “go and sin no more,” and to not continue in their mistreatment. But even if they do continue, we must forgive them.
Now Jesus doesn’t have to forgive everyone like we do because he is God and he is holy and righteous and he has the right to forgive some and to condemn others, but in all fairness and justice, according to the teachings of the Scriptures. For he says if we do not forsake our lives of sin, and if we do not obey him, then we aren’t forgiven our sins. But we as sinful human beings have no right to not forgive, especially since Jesus forgave us.
Forgiveness: [Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 18:21-22; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:37-38; Luke 11:4; Luke 17:3-4; 2 Corinthians 2:5-7; Colossians 3:12-13]
Awaken the Dawn
An Original Work / January 15, 2013
Based off Psalm 57 (NIV 1984)
O my God, have mercy on me!
In the Lord, my soul takes refuge.
In the shadow of Your wings, Lord,
I find shelter till the storms pass.
I cry out to my God Most High.
He fulfills His purpose for me.
He sent His Son to die for me,
So I could be saved.
I am in the midst of lions;
Men whose teeth are spears and arrows;
Whose tongues are sharp; words accusing.
They spread a net, my feet to catch.
They dug a pit, in hopes I’d fall.
O God, be exalted o’er all.
Let Your glory shine to all men,
So they may be saved.
Steadfast is my heart, O my God;
I will sing of all Your wonders.
Awake, my soul! Sing praise to God!
Early I will rise and praise Him!
I’ll praise God among the nations;
I will sing among the peoples.
God’s love reaches to the heavens,
So we may be saved.