Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
We live in a society of reaction. What I mean is that it seems the majority of people just react to things rather than actually contemplate (think through) both sides of a story or argument. If it meets with their preconceived (they already made up their mind) opinions, then they accept the argument as valid without even looking at the details of the argument. If the argument does not meet their preconceived opinions, they immediately seek to reject it without even giving it any thought or listening to the other side. This is why we have protests all over the place with people claiming all kinds of “truths.” Yes, I put that in quotations because truth doesn’t seem to matter anymore. The only “truth” that matters is what people believe to be true – and many blindly. We react. And, often times that reaction is to paint those who hold differing opinions than us as evil.
However, the Apostle Paul has some biblical counsel for us, when he wrote, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” In other words, in this world, there will always be differences of opinion, misunderstandings, and name-calling. But, as Christians, we are held to a higher standard. We must, as Paul put it, “make allowance for each other’s faults.” We must be willing to accept those who don’t think or behave like us. Especially those within our global, and local, church family. We must listen to one another in an attempt to understand our individual points of view, rather than listening to prepare an argument against them. We must allow that we approach life differently due to man different influences in our lives.
Then comes the kicker. “Forgive anyone who offends you.” In other words, don’t fly off the handle when someone says something you hate. You can disagree, but you must also forgive. Pray that the person be blessed, not cursed. Don’t hurl insults at them. Don’t stereotype them into one category or another. See them as Jesus sees you. He forgives you for the offenses you’ve committed against His Kingdom. In turn, we are told to forgive those who commit offenses against us. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is our biblical mandate.