Let Peace Rule

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.    Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.”  Colossians 3:12-15 (NIV)

In looking at God’s incredible love for us, we have seen over and over again His incredible grace, mercy, and forgiveness.  Even though we don’t deserve it, we are “holy and dearly loved.”  Time and time again, I turn away from the Lord, I hurt Him, and I selfishly run after my own desires.  Each time, when I finally realize the error of my ways and ask for forgiveness, He never fails to shower me with His grace and forgive me completely.  

The Psalms say that God removes our transgressions “as far as the east is from the west”  
Praise the Lord that He does not withhold His forgiveness!  Praise the Lord that His mercies are new every morning!  Praise the Lord that He does not keep a record of wrongs!

As grateful as I am for the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness, I have an impossible time bestowing that same love on my friends and enemies who wrong me.  I can’t let it go, I can’t get over it, and many times I feel like I can’t forgive them because if I do, it makes what they did “okay”.
How can I expect for God to fully forgive me every time I wrong Him, and not bestow the same grace on those who wrong me?  

Colossians 3 calls me to “forgive as the Lord forgave me.”  I’m not God, so many times forgiveness is an extremely difficult uphill battle.  One thing that I know is this kind of forgiveness is only possible through prayer, and Colossians 3 is a great place to start.

Lord, thank you for the unconditional forgiveness that You provide me.  Lord, I confess that it is so hard to forgive people who hurt me.  I pray for a heart that freely bestows forgiveness even when I feel like they don’t deserve it.  Lord, I pray for a heart that sows seeds of love and unity instead of seeds of bitterness and dissent.  I can’t do this without You.  I pray that Your peace will rule in my heart and that Your love for me will compel me to love those who have hurt me.  Thank you for your incredible love, grace, and power.  Day after day, you never cease to amaze me!