Thursday, December 7
Offended by the offended
Scripture: Colossians 1-4
Colossians 3:12-14 You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. 14And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.
Lately, I’ve found myself getting upset with people who are upset with others! I’ve had a hard time forgiving others who aren’t forgiving. I’ve been intolerant with others who are intolerant. I’ve been offended by those who are offended.
You get the idea.
I’m no better than the people I’m upset with. I’m doing the same things.
But Jesus calls us higher. We are God’s people, loved and chosen. As such, we put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We are tolerant and forgiving. If we have a complaint against someone, we forgive them just as Jesus has forgiven us. And we love everyone always—we do what is best for others no matter what it costs us. This means self-denial rather than a selfish assertion of our rights and dignity.
So does this mean that we ignore faults in others? No—love demands that we help them. But we can’t help others from a posture of intolerance, unforgiveness, self-righteousness, and offense. We can’t help someone with the speck in their eyes until we remove the 2X4 from our own! Love means we help with their best interests in mind, rather than defending our self-interest.
Today, whenever my mind drifts to others and their offenses, I will forgive them and concentrate on my 2X4. I will ask the Lord to help me to put on everything listed in these verses, and be tolerant and forgiving and loving. I need the Lord’s help, so I’ll ask the Spirit to fill me and make me like Jesus. I will refuse to nurture my hurt feelings or my frustration or offense. I will release others from my judgment and ask the Lord to release me from my self-righteousness.
Prayer: Lord, I need your help. I want to be a loving and forgiving person. I want to be what I read in these verses. I recognize how easy it is for me to be offended, intolerant and unforgiving. Change me!