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
I once heard about forgiveness therapy for people who had unexplained illnesses and some doctors have confirmed that unforgiveness is linked to some diseases. It’s amazing how science often backs up what was written in scripture years ago. Although most scientists will not affirm scripture, we see traces of the truth in psychology and other medical disciplines.
We bear with one another because we recognise our own frailties. We appreciate that we also have weaknesses and the capacity to make mistakes. And we acknowledge that despite our mistakes and failures that God has forgiven us. So as God forgives us, we extend that forgiveness to others.
The requirement for us to receive forgiveness from God is to forgive others and God warns us that our prayers will not be heard unless we forgive. Hurting people hurt people and most people who are nasty have their own share of troubles. I suppose some people need our sympathy and insight into what is causing them to hurt. Jesus commands us to love our enemies and to also pray for those who persecute us. Matthew 5:44
God knows that the task of forgiveness is not an easy one which is why his advice to Peter was seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 I cannot say that I always score great marks on the forgiveness test and it is a constant struggle to ensure that I stay in grace. We pray for those who persecute us because it is the only way to ensure that we do not harbour hate. If we hate and do not forgive then we are no better than the person who did wrong to us. Bitterness, hurt and hate is contagious and the only way to keep these poisons from getting inside of us and staying free is to forgive.