“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.”
“even as Christ forgave you”
To forgive as Christ forgave does not mean that the Christian is to become a doormat. It does mean that when we have a complaint against someone, we approach the problem with a particular bearing — an attitude of forgiveness. Jesus Christ is the standard for non-retaliation. As Christ forgave, so we are to forgive. The phrase “even as” indicates that Christ is the standard.
Jesus could have retaliated against the Scribes and Pharisees, the people who wronged Him. He did not seek any form of retaliation against them. Jesus ignored their rejection and insults. He treated them based on His character, which was oriented to grace. Grace becomes mercy overtly. Christ did not attempt to ruin, hurt, or destroy them. He did not try to penalize them in any way. He did, however, confront them.
Jesus Christ is the standard for forgiveness.
God does not want us to wait until people who have hurt us come crawling. He wants us to forgive immediately. If we do not forgive immediately, we will become very tight in our relationships with others. We will become bitter and upset. We may even become hysterical. We will eventually become vicious and vindictive. We will develop terrible behavior patterns. We may end up screaming and throwing tantrums. There is no place in the Christian life for hysteria, whiners, cry babies, tantrum tillies, or any panic experience. That is why Jesus is the standard to show us how to treat obnoxious people.
We are to forgive as Christ forgave. Christ forgave immediately; He did not go into a tizzy; He did not whine or cry; He did not fall apart. He did not use abnormal behavior patterns seeking revenge to hurt and destroy. Immediate forgiveness is the only way to keep from wearing out your soul’s transmission. When we get our transmission out of line, distortions will occur. We may end up with physical and psychosomatic illnesses. We will develop all sorts of problems. We may get ulcers or break out in rashes. The reason? Our attitude is out of kilter. God designed the body to go with the soul. The soul is the transmission of life. When the transmission strips its gears, our lives do not go anywhere.
We cannot afford to harbor resentment against anyone, anytime, for anything. If we forgive as Christ forgave, our mentality will be free from mental attitude sins. If we allow hatred, bitterness, antagonism, vindictiveness, implacability, or jealousy to get hold of us, then our souls will become warped and distorted. We would not be like Christ in exercising forgiveness.