Colossians 3:13 NRSV
Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Words of Hope
If you spend any time on social media, you have no doubt seen people taking out their personal grievances in that public forum, “calling out” individuals for statements or posts they made and then “piling-on” in the comments section. I have been guilty of this behavior as well and though it might make me feel like I am taking some kind of action for justice, in the end it usually accomplishes nothing.
So, what do we do? Well, Jesus would have us take a deep breath and then offer forgiveness.
What? How can I forgive someone who (insert offense here)?
It’s not easy, and it is a big part of what being a Christian is about. That whole following Jesus thing is sometimes difficult.
Next time you consider “calling out” someone, maybe you can instead “call them in”
“Calling in” someone opens a dialogue and reflection rather than reaction. Though it is important to rebuff unacceptable behavior, it is also important to make sure the person doing that behavior understands why it is unacceptable. That means we have to start with forgiveness so we can move toward communication and understanding.
Many times that person had no bad intentions, but was merely forwarding a meme or post that struck a chord in them. Letting them know why that was offensive at a personal level goes further than just attacking them. It is sometimes the beginning of a difficult conversation, but often it leads to real understanding for both parties.
Occasionally, it will not have a happy outcome, but forgiveness will allow you to release that person with love and not anger, and that leaves the door open should things change. It allows us to call out the behavior without condemning the person.
God, may I seek to first find forgiveness just as you forgive me.