Colossians 3:12-15 (NKJV)
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Let’s be honest, if there is one word many Christians do not want to hear today, it’s the word suffering. Now imagine adding the word “long” before it to create long suffering. I can guarantee you this is one subject many would not want to hear.
This is fashion week and we are learning from Colossians what we are to cloth ourselves with as the elect of God. Long suffering, forbearance and forgiveness all have to do with how we respond when we are mistreated. To put on longsuffering means slowness in avenging wrongs done to you. That does not sound right because our natural tendency is to call down fire from heaven to consume those who have done us wrong. We forget that God says that vengeance is His and Jesus demonstrated this for us when they crucified Him even to the point of praying for the very people who were doing Him harm when they were in the very act of it.
Is it no amazing how when we are the ones in the wrong then we expect grace and understanding and while it is someone else then we demand justice and revenge? We are to bear with one another and to forgive each other. Remember this are things we are to put on, we must be deliberate about it and no one even God Himself will do them for us.
If Jesus could forgive those who crucified Him and even plead to God on their behalf, then we too who have the same mind that was in Him should be able to do so to those who do us wrong. It is sad that many believers walk with un-forgiveness in their hearts and because it is not something that others can see they assume they are ok. Just like mercy, forgiveness is given to that individual who does not deserve it. If they deserved it then it would not be forgiveness.
Before you leave the house today, look at yourself in the mirror; have you clothed yourself with long suffering, forbearance and forgiveness?