Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. —Colossians 3:13 (NJB)
If mercy were a sin, I believe I could not keep from committing it.—St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Revenge comes easy to us. We chuckle at the bumper sticker that says, “I don’t get mad. I get even.” We like it because it expresses feelings that run deep in our disordered human natures. We often want to damage a person who damages us. When someone cuts us off in traffic, it’s easier to wish him a flat tire than a blessing. Maybe even four flat tires.
But God says no to our desires for vengeance. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,” he says, “nor are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). And his thoughts and ways are rich in forgiveness (55:7), which he freely offers and prescribes for us as well. That’s why Jesus required that we forgive those who…
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