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Same Coin

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

You have likely heard the adage, "two sides of the same coin." The phrase encapsulates the delicate balance in life. Like day and night and joy and sorrow, these dualities coexist, shaping our experiences. Love and forgiveness are like that. We can't love others if we aren't willing to forgive, and we can't forgive them without love. We have often witnessed the destruction of something beautiful because we don't pay attention to both sides of the coin. 

Today's verse tells us to bear with one another. It comes as no surprise to any of us that we make lots of mistakes. Sometimes, these sins are intentional, but not always; sometimes, we do not think through our actions before doing something, causing unintentional harm. 

Thanks to Jesus' sacrifice, we are assured absolution from God when we humbly repent our sins. While we must ask God for forgiveness, it doesn't stop there. We are to ask each other for forgiveness, which is the more challenging part, for in doing so, we must admit we were wrong. By nature, we are creatures who must be right even when wrong. Even if our sin is in reaction to someone else's sin, and we feel justified in some warped way, we still have sinned against that person and thus must ask for their pardon. 

There is one other person we should forgive: ourselves. Though never mentioned explicitly in the Bible. We can trust that God's forgiveness is complete and sufficient for us. We can also ask God to help us overcome any feelings of guilt, shame, or unworthiness that may hinder us from experiencing his grace and peace. 

In seeking pardon from God, it is vital to understand there is no sin so great that He will not forgive. 1 John 1:9 assures us, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." It doesn't give us a list of sins to be excluded but is intentionally vague in "our sins." Likewise, as disciples of Jesus, there is nothing too great for which we should not be willing to forgive others. If Jesus, hanging on the cross, forgave his tormentors, we, filled with His love and empowered by the Holy Spirit, can forgive far less. 

Whenever we've sinned, or whenever someone sins against us, flip the coin. Don't let it remain in the sin side-up position, staring us in the face as a painful reminder, but turn it over. Ask forgiveness, give forgiveness so we may experience Christ's peace and joy.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing grace and forgiveness. You have shown us how much you love us by sending your Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Help us follow your example of forgiving those who hurt or wronged us, and help us humble ourselves in asking for pardon from others. Give us the strength to bear with one another in love and patience. Heal our hearts from any bitterness or resentment. In Jesus' name, we pray, amen.


Pastor Tim

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