Choose To Let It Go
By Rick Renner
— Colossians 3:13
Every day we encounter opportunities to get upset with people about something they did or said. If we let down our guard and indulge in these urges, we will live in a continual state of frustration and strife, and our spiritual lives will suffer dramatically. Sometimes it can be very difficult to convince our minds to overlook a perceived slight, forgive the offender, and move on with our lives. However, the Bible offers us a powerful strategy that can be used to cultivate peace in our relationships: We must learn to extend grace to others and to realize that humans act human.
In Colossians 3:13, the apostle Paul wrote, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” This verse specifically outlines how we are to respond to people in our lives who disappoint or upset us. And since life is filled with disappointments, it’s important for us to understand exactly what Paul meant when he wrote these words.
Paul began with the phrase, “Forbearing one another….” This word “forbearing” is from the Greek word anechomai, which means to endure one another, to put up with one another, or to have tolerance of one another. It is the opposite of acting intolerant or being short-tempered with other people. At some point along the way, we all become frustrated with our friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances. In those moments, the most Christ-like attitude to demonstrate may be to simply show forbearance and let it go. That doesn’t mean we have to compromise or ignore an obvious problem; however, it does mean that sometimes taking the higher road means shutting our mouths and letting go of the offense or disappointment.
That’s why Paul said in this verse that sometimes forbearing or putting up with the people you interact with in life is the highest road you can take. So when your flesh gets offended or you find yourself wanting to nitpick someone about what you perceive to be his or her failures, take some time to get quiet before God and ask Him what to do. It may be that His highest will in that situation is for you to simply show forbearance and let go of the matter. Although loving confrontation is needed at times, it is not always the right course to take.
Paul went on to say, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another….” The word “forgiving” comes from the word charis, the Greek word for grace. It carries the idea of wholeheartedly forgiving, freely forgiving, or readily forgiving. This is a step beyond simply being forbearing; it requires our response to go to the next level as we choose to freely and wholeheartedly forgive with no restraints and no strings attached. Just as God has extended His grace to us so many times by freely forgiving us of our sins against Him, now the Holy Spirit instructs you and me to extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us or offended us.
In the latter part of this verse, Paul relayed the core of his message, saying, “…If any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” The word “quarrel” is a Greek word mamphe, which means a complaint or grievance against someone and usually depicts a complaint that is backed with solid evidence.
Perhaps someone failed to do what you expected him to do or acted in a manner that was below your expectations of him. Regardless of what you perceive that this person did wrong or what “quarrel” you have with him, the Bible commands you to forgive “even as Christ forgave you.” Isn’t that what Christ did for you?
It’s difficult for me to imagine why any of us would refuse to forgive someone else for a perceived offense in light of how graciously God has forgiven us. Certainly we are all guilty or worthy of blame! How could we ever forget that it was for our dreadful sin that Jesus died on the Cross? Jesus bore unspeakable suffering by taking on punishment He didn’t deserve — and He did it freely for us.
Now Paul urged us, “…As Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” You and I didn’t deserve the forgiveness we received, but God forgave us anyway. He forgave us for all we have done in the past, and His mercy is so boundless that He continues to forgive us in the present when we ask for forgiveness. Now we who are forgiven have a responsibility to forgive.
So if you’re having a day filled with opportunities to get upset with people and you feel yourself sliding into a state of frustration and strife, take a moment to pause and meditate on the truths of Colossians 3:13. When you remember how much you’ve been forgiven by Christ — and by others whom you’ve deliberately or accidently wronged in the past — you’ll realize you don’t have a right to stay upset with anyone!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I repent for allowing myself to become angry, frustrated, and unforgiving. That is wrong and I refuse to yield to selfishness any longer. No matter what has been said or done, I have no right to harbor ill will — especially when You have commanded me to forgive others as You have forgiven me. Jesus, You paid a horrific price for my sins. Even as You hung dying on the Cross at Calvary, You prayed not only for me but also for the person I’m upset with now. Lord, I deeply apologize. If I had been focused on You instead of myself, I would not have become upset in the first place. Help me to see this person and this situation through Your eyes. I choose to get over this offense right now. I let this drop and I refuse to think on my feelings anymore. Instead, I will seek to honor You in this matter. Holy Spirit, teach me how to love as Jesus loved me.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I take heed to myself and I refuse to walk in unforgiveness, bitterness, or strife. I cannot control what others may say or do, but I am responsible for the condition of my own heart. I do not give place to the devil by indulging selfish thoughts or emotions. Neither do I attempt to justify my own negative behavior in response to what upset me. Instead, I choose to give place to the love of God, which is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit who indwells me. And I make a daily decision to love and to forgive others as God through Christ has loved and forgiven me.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you think of someone whom you wronged, intentionally or unintentionally, but regardless of your bad behavior, they took the high road and forgave you for it?
- Maybe you have a personal quarrel with someone right now and can even claim to have evidence to back up your But is it really worth the lack of peace that it’s creating in your life? Is this a fight you should be fighting, or would it be more productive to just let it go and forget about it?
- Have you had other instances in your life when you got upset with someone and held on to it for a long time, but then you finally woke up and realized it wasn’t worth the lack of peace, so you decided to forgive? How much precious time was wasted that could never be recaptured because you got upset? Have you considered that this may be something you’re going through right now? Why don’t you choose forgiveness, move on, and let the Lord deal with it in His own way?