Life is Messy and Forgiveness is Difficult

“As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:13).

In a sudden drift of conscience, a businessman ruins his marriage with a one-night stand. On the sleek roads in a small community, a drunk driver swerves uncontrollably and kills a young boy. In the church pew, a member mishears an usher and gossip spills. The body splits and the gospel is snuffed out.

Life is messy because sin is dirty. It’s an infectious disease that soils the body and spreads through the bloodstream contaminating arteries. In the end, sin kills. Even those with abundant life can be blinded by its power. When deep wounds distract us from God’s glory, bitterness can take root. Being born into sin makes cleanup hard. Forgiveness is difficult.

The cross was difficult too. Jesus forced blood out of His sweat glands just thinking about it (Lk. 22:44). His atoning work was uniquely difficult because He was unique, holy and set apart. There is nothing more difficult than to absorb the wages of messy lives, and yet it is finished.

Life is messy, sin is dirty, but there is good news: Jesus is strong. He conquered sin and cleans up lives. Nothing is too difficult for Him, nor is anything too difficult for those who are in Him. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Col. 3:12-13). Through Christ, we have the power to forgive.

If you were forgiven by Christ, then your mess was absorbed on the cross. You were made clean. You were reconciled. God forgave you. Are you quick to forget what He did for you? Are you hesitant to forgive? Jesus wasn’t. You shouldn’t either.

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