Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:9-14 NIV
In order for us to receive forgiveness, we must willing to admit when we’re wrong. If a person can never admit being wrong or in need of forgiveness, how can they be forgiven?
Many are those who always cry, “forgive, forgive” but that’s only when it pertains to someone else, not them. And the other side of the coin is–the person who keeps doing wrong, never repents of the wrongdoing–never turns away from doing wrong–because they never admit they are wrong. Apologies–it would seem to some–are for losers and therefore–a winner never apologizes for anything–in their mind. So, if there is no admittance or apology, there can be no forgiveness for if there is–it is just a matter of words, not sincerity since true forgiveness, comes with a change of heart.
We are told–in The Word–that from the abundance of the heart–the mouth speaks. From that we can conclude by what we hear–what is in a person’s heart. If all we hear is hatred and bigotry, lies and finger-pointing, then what we hear is what’s overflowing in their heart.
If we attach a color to every trait or virtue–what color would our hearts be? We’ve heard of people having a black heart (pure evil), but is that what resides within us? For all those virtues that are positive–love, joy, hope, forgiveness, humility, and sincerity,–let’s color them yellow. For all the negative traits–lying, hatred, bigotry, fear-mongering–let’s color them black. Now, let’s take a look at what appears to be a halo over people–is it light or is it darkness? Darkness does not drive out light, but light certainly drives out darkness so it would benefit all for us to have light in our hearts rather than darkness.
Not one of us–living past the age of seven–can say we’ve never done anything wrong. And as kids, when we did something wrong we were punished–if we had loving parents. As adults, we have to recognize when our behavior is not conducive to maintaining peace or when infringing upon the rights of others. When we do wrong–we admit it–apologize and seek forgiveness and let it go, not holding grudges.
When we repent–turn away from those things that offend God and turn to Him to stay on the right path, He forgives and never reminds us of all the wrong we’ve ever done. But the enemy–the prince of darkness–will always seek a way to get into our minds to remind us of what we’ve done in hopes of keeping us distracted. We don’t have to let the enemy influence our thoughts or our deeds. We simply have to remember who it is we serve and serve Him with gladness and joy in our hearts.
However–if we never acknowledge doing wrong–there is no true repentance and therefore forgiveness is not received. For what we do not admit when we’re wrong, God cannot forgive us. And if we say we’re sorry for doing something when we are not–the lack of sincerity will be revealed in our continued wrongdoing.
Beloved, let’s love one another with a sincere heart–allowing the light of hope and joy to override the darkness impelled by fear and hatred. God is love and if we love Him, we can love others for love resides in our hearts in abundance. And if we love, we can forgive when others admit their wrongdoing and we should not hold it against them.