* Written for The Grip, August 30, 2012
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13
It’s easy to remember the forgive part. Okay, it’s easier. It’s the first part we tend to overlook: Make allowance for each other’s faults. Most of us have a difficult time making allowances for each other’s faults. In other words, we don’t allow people to fail us. We forget to make those allowances. The truth is every person we are in relationship with will fail us. My spouse will fail me. My children will fail me. My friends will fail me. And, I will fail them. The key is to not allow those moments to define that relationship. Instead, we must view it as a moment in time. A moment where we allowed that person to fail us. A moment where we forgave them as soon as they did. A moment. That’s all.
Even though none of us think of ourselves as perfect, we still have a tough time allowing others to be flawed. As a parent, I have to constantly remind myself to allow my children fail. I have to guard against over-parenting. There are times I try to prevent them from failing instead of letting them make mistakes. Allowing them to fail. I want to protect them from failure. But, if I could protect them from every single failure, they would never see their need for a Savior.
I’m going to fail you. You’re going to fail me. When we do, we have a gap. On one side of that gap is my expectation of you. On the other side of that gap is what actually happens. We choose what goes in the gap when someone fails us. We can fill that gap with bitterness, anger, or hurt. Or, we can fill that gap with forgiveness, grace, and allowances for that person’s faults.
We choose what goes in the gap.
Paul follows up Colossians 3:13 with this:
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Get up every morning and wrap yourself in love. Choose peace over being right. And, be thankful for those people in your life…..
Even when they fail you.