12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. 14 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.15 The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. 16 The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17, CEB
I want to draw attention to the dynamic of forgiveness in this passage.
Here’s what it is not saying: It’s not saying that if you’ve been a victim you need to forgive just to maintain the status quo. This is not encouraging some kind of strange power play where people who’ve been harmed have to cozy up to the person who did the harm.
The passage, as a whole, is encouraging relationships of mutuality based on the principles listed in these verses. It’s calling both the person who is wronged and the wrongdoer to join together and show each other compassion, kindness, humility, etc. The onus is not on one party or the other but it is on both sides to come together to live out their certain way of seeing in community. This doesn’t apply to every forgiveness scenario, but it certainly applies to Northstar Community when we’re struggling to get along with each other but where we’re well-equipped to deal with conflict and have been practicing for many years the mutuality of relationship we need to practice forgiveness during hard times.
I’m very proud to be a part of NSC. We’re a people very dedicated to learning and practicing the view of spirituality we see here in this passage. Let’s not get complacent in how we live together with each other. Compassion, humility, forgiveness. The name of the game.