“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.”
“if anyone has a complaint against another”
A complaint is a grievance against someone else. An occasion of complaint implies blame. The complaint may be justified. A “complaint” is an idiom meaning to accept an allegation against someone for a legal review. It is to bring an accusation against someone. It is an idiom meaning to accept in accordance with a charge, to accept a complaint in court, to admit a complaint to judgment. The biblical norm is to forgive a complaint that we might have against others.
Forgiveness is freedom from attitudinal sins against others.
Can you let a complaint you have against someone drop? Can you forgive fault against you? Do you hold grudges? If Christ forgave faults against him, so should we.
Complaint includes a complaint about imaginary wrong. It does not mean to complain until forgiveness is asked. Once we are satisfied with their admission of failure, then we will condescend to forgive them. That is the way many operate.
A mature believer is not bitter toward those who wrong him. He is not hostile, implacable. His mind is completely free and relaxed toward other people. He does not retaliate through gossip and maligning. He does not use revenge tactics. Forgiveness means forgetting it and, therefore, not retaliate.
When we forbear, we hold everything back; when we forgive, we hold nothing against. Forbearance refuses to demand what is deserving. Forgiveness gives more than what is deserving. What a beautiful balance of attitude!