November 5, 2020

Extra Grace Required

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 5, 2020

Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13 (NRSV)

Undoubtedly, 2020 has been a year of relational extremes. On the one hand, we as a society have spent the year isolated from one another in ways no one alive today has ever experienced. Routines have been upended, habits altered, and patterns of living eliminated entirely. As a result, cherished family holidays have been postponed, weddings and birthday celebrations cancelled, and work-related travel digitally reimagined. In the face of such relational isolation, we have therefore been pressed into new rhythms of relationship with those closest to us, usually those living together under the same roof or within the same immediate family. Thus, we are simultaneously isolated as never before, and at the same time find ourselves in a heightened form of relational connectivity and intimacy with a few select people, and it is this latter group that I want to focus upon today.

In Colossians 3, St. Paul exhorts this young church to bear with one another in love, forgiving just as we have been forgiven by our Lord. It is good to remember that the early Christian communities were humble and intimate, functioning more like a family than a programmatically-driven organization. As such, Paul’s words were less born out of his finely tuned deductive skills and more from a simple knowledge of the human condition: greater proximity requires greater grace.

Over the years, I’ve heard people referred to as those for whom “extra grace was required.” At times, this was simply a Southern way of saying you didn’t care for someone! However, I wonder if you have been surprised during this pandemic by the people requiring extra grace in your own life? A parent? Spouse? Child? Instead of a longstanding difficult relationship, perhaps the disruptive rhythms of this year have forced you into uncharted relational waters with those you love the most?

Even the most cherished relationships require ongoing patience, trust, and mutual respect. In fact, the closer you are, the more this will be tested! And so, take Paul’s words to heart today, and as you remember the endless compassion and tender mercy of our Lord Jesus, choose today to bear with those you love, in love.


Father, as we have been forgiven, teach us to forgive, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Who has required the most grace from you over the past 6 months? How can you look to Jesus today and ask him to renew in you your commitment to live a life of forgiveness towards those you love?

Related Reading

Psalm 103:1-12; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:8-10

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