Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

forgive Archive



May 2024

An unlikely source

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"Forgiving one another and forbearing one another; if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Colossians 3:13 | read more on hopereflected.com

“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another; if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Colossians 3:13).

In his letter to the Church at Colossae, Paul provided admonition to believers because they were falling into error due to false teaching and wrong living. In this verse, Paul provides practical instruction for anyone dealing with present and past wrongs—we are to forbear and to forgive.

Forbearance is an action word.

Like patience and waiting, forbearance is one of those action words that requires us to exercise restraint.

For the creditor, forbearance is the act of refraining from a legal right, like calling in a debt; for the debtor, forbearance is stopping payments or making alternate payment arrangements for a period of time.

A good turn is not just good for you

On his interpretation of “forbearing one another,” (Colossians 3:13), Matthew Henry wrote that “We have all of us something which needs to be borne with, and this is a good reason why we should bear with others in what is disagreeable to us. We need the same good turn from others which we are bound to show them.”

When you’re playing a board game, a good turn is not just good for you; it helps all the players in the game to move forward. And while in life there are certainly times when showing others a good turn is the very last thing that we are inclined to do—especially during the moment after their turn where they’ve just stirred up frustration and strife—forbearing with others is essential to help us move forward.

An act of mercy

I would suggest that forbearance is a kind of human mercy, our attempt at acting out on our small, measly scale the incomparable mercy that God showed us first on the Cross, and continues to show us each day with His unending compassions.

It is in our sinful nature to give someone who has wronged us what they deserve; to return hurtful word for hurtful word, and frustration for frustration. It is not by our own nature that we give a kind word after someone has given us a hurtful word, or that we offer gratification when someone shows us frustration.

Hallmarks of God’s nature

Forbearance and forgiveness are hallmarks of God’s nature.

It’s only through thanksgiving to Him that we can have any part in these actions. As Matthew Henry wrote, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; it is of his working in all who are his. Thanksgiving to God, helps to make us agreeable to all men.” All men may not be agreeable to us, but when we give thanks to God, it is possible that we can be agreeable to all men.

Forbearance and forgiveness have their roots in thanksgiving, and yet it seems to us thanksgiving is an unlikely source for such actions, even though we have experienced the greatest act of forgiveness that Christ gave us on the Cross, and the forbearance He shows us every day. He gives to us freely and forever, and forbearance and forgiveness to others is the very least thanks that we can give Him.

Originally published as “An unlikely source.” Independent Plus. October 6, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



January 2022

Forgiveness: Lord, increase our faith

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Forgiveness is often very difficult and hard. Read more about why on hopereflected.com

Why does forgiveness seem like such a hard option?

When someone wrongs us, our initial response is to set up our favourite defence mechanism. For some, it’s avoidance. For others, it’s revenge. For even more, it’s what I call the slow cooker, where we internalize whatever has happened. We put our hurt feelings in the slow cooker and set it to low, or high, and let it cook, stew, burn, and eventually harden to the sides of the slow cooker until getting that thing clean is near impossible. All of these responses are wrong, but it seems as though forgiveness is just as hard an option.


Forgiveness is part of God's nature, not ours. Read more on hopereflected.com

Forgiveness is part of God’s nature, not ours

To start, forgiveness is part of God’s nature, and because we’re fallen, sinful creatures, forgiveness is not something that comes naturally to us. Some people are born with the natural ability to sing, while others sound best when they keep their mouths closed. Other people have a natural aptitude to dance, while some people are safest when they stand still.

“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee,” David prayed in Psalm 86:5. God – without trying – is good and ready to forgive. He doesn’t need time, He doesn’t need to think about it, He is ready to forgive and shower us with mercy when we call on Him.

Forgiveness is an act of humility. Read more about forgiveness on hopereflected.com

Forgiveness is an act of humility

Another reason that forgiveness is so hard for us is that forgiveness is an act of humility. C.S. Lewis wrote, “…if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.”

James wrote in his eponymous epistle, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10). Similarly, Peter wrote “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” (1 Peter 5:6). To humble ourselves is first a choice, and also an act of repentance. Each one of us understands how humiliating it can be to go to another and say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me”. It is a difficult task to admit that we are wrong and repent.

Like humility, forgiveness is a choice. It is something that we do, and that we are called to do over and over and over again, many, many times (Luke 17:4).

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,

and he shall lift you up.”

James 4:10
Forgiveness is a method of healing. Read more on hopereflected.com

Forgiveness is a method of healing

Anyone who has been injured, sick, or undergone surgery knows that the road to recovery is not easy. Some days, healing hurts. Initially, forgiveness may hurt as well. Who wants to uncover old wounds or rip off the bandages hiding our hurt? Spurgeon said, “It is nobler to forgive and let the offense pass. To let an injury rankle in your bosom and to meditate revenge is to keep old wounds open and to make new ones.” Wounds must be treated if they are to heal properly.

When Hezekiah prayed for the Lord to pardon those that prepared their hearts to seek God, we read that the Lord healed the people (2 Chronicles 30:20). Forgiveness is no easy task. Like the disciples, we ought to approach it by asking the Lord to increase our faith.

Originally published as “Lord, increase our faith.” Independent Plus. August 19, 2021: 5. Print. Web.