When Someone Admits They’re Wrong

Colossians Wings

It’s been years since I’ve read Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Call me silly, legalistic, prudish or whatever, but the magic and the cross-dressing in his comedies bother me. So, although I understand why Portia dresses as a man during the courtroom scene, I feel uncomfortable with it.

Today, however, I’ve been thinking about Shylock’s demand for a pound of flesh when Antonio defaulted on his loan. Despite offers to pay him back double the debt, Shylock resolutely demands the pound of flesh. Nothing else will satisfy him.

Shylock’s unmerciful attitude shocks us, though it really ought to expose our own unwillingness to extend mercy and forgiveness when someone apologizes to us. I know that I secretly enjoy the feeling of power I experience when anyone acknowledges their indebtedness to me. Somehow I don’t think I’m the only one who secretly enjoys that power. There’s a little bit of Shylock in many people.

God’s Word stands squarely against our unforgiveness, however. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, conveys the Lord’s command that Christians live in harmony with each other.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. ~~Colossians 3:12-15 (ESV)

We readily nod our heads in agreement with this passage.  Yes, Christians by all means should live this way, we tell ourselves. Those of you who are mothers work hard to instill these attitudes in your children. We know how much the Lord has forgiven us, and we acknowledge that no one has sinned against us nearly as much as we’ve sinned against Him.

But the minute someone offends us, Colossians 3:12-15 sprouts wings and flies out the window.

The person who offends us may do her best to seek our forgiveness, and usually it’s appropriate for her to make amends. But when we are dissatisfied with her attempts to make things right, perhaps insisting that she also apologize for things that weren’t actually sinful, could it possibly be that now we stand in violation of Colossians 3:12-15? I know I’ve done that far too often.

Such unforgiveness must grieve the Holy Spirit! He would not want a Christian who has experienced the grace of God’s forgiveness to demand a pound of flesh from a sister in Christ.

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One thought on “When Someone Admits They’re Wrong

  1. “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”
    Deut 22:5

    This verse would say you are being godly in your thinking. Our strive here in life is to throw off every sin that entangles us and pursue holiness. Those harsh jokes we used to love we now detest, the funny guy in a movie who slips into a woman’s dress is now serious and not funny at all.

    Sanctification here is the key and as we grow more and more to what God has called us to be this world and all it offers just becomes more and more offensive.

    “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
    1 John 2:15

    I think it is wise that we all remember Pauls words

    The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. – Paul, 1 Timothy 1:15

    Rick Thomas wrote this..

    Do you believe you are the foremost sinner that God ever saved? I’m serious. Do you? If you were the writer of 1 Timothy, instead of Paul, would you write the sacred text the way he wrote it? How you answer these questions will have a direct impact on how you relate to your spouse. These questions are foundational, gospel-centered questions that will shape how you view and interact in all of your relationships.

    I’m not asking if you have committed the worst sins in the world or the most sins. I’m not suggesting that your sinfulness is consequentially more horrific than another person. I’m appealing to you to not look first at what others have committed but gaze at the cross and in light of what you see, how do you perceive yourself.

    Key Idea – If you do not believe you are the foremost sinner that you know, you will have relational difficulties that will be difficult to resolve. If you embrace Paul’s perspective as your own, you are not only in good company with him, but you are in the best possible place to work through any relational difficulty. Let me share with you a few benefits of being the “biggest sinner in the room.”

    The foremost sinner sees each day as a gift from God.
    The foremost sinner is grateful.
    The foremost sinner encourages others.
    The foremost sinner is not critical.
    The foremost sinner does not uncharitably judge others.
    The foremost sinner does not gossip.
    The foremost sinner is more aware of his sin than the sins of others.
    The foremost sinner walks in humility.
    The foremost sinner experiences grace.
    The foremost sinner is not demanding.
    The foremost sinner realizes he has no rights.
    The foremost sinner is not argumentative.
    The foremost sinner is more suspicious of himself than others.
    The foremost sinner finds it easy to think the best of others.
    The foremost sinner does not envy the blessings that others receive.
    The foremost sinner esteems others more than himself.
    The foremost sinner is not surprised when he sins.
    The foremost sinner is not surprised when others sin.
    The foremost sinner assumes that he does not understand entirely.
    The foremost sinner appreciates God.

    Being the foremost sinner is not the total package as it pertains to Paul’s theology. It is only one aspect of his theology, but sadly, it is an oft-neglected part of his theological corpus. Everyone struggles with how Paul saw himself in light of the cross, especially when they turn the tables and apply his thoughts to themselves.

    So my thought..not only are we to forgive 70×7 (Whether they deserve it, mean it, ask for it, ets etc)
    We all must remember we too have sinned and our sins sent Christ to the cross..is there much worse then that?

    Love you friend and thank you for your post


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