Colossians 3:12

New Testament

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. 14 And to all these virtues add love, which is the perfect bond. 15 Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God.

Plutarch Moralia 489


The Athenians, though they absurdly invented the tale of the strife of the gods, yet inserted in it no slight correction of its absurdity, for they always omit the second day of Boedromion, thinking that on that day occurred Poseidon's quarrel with Athena. What, then, prevents us also from treating the day on which we have quarrelled with any of our family or relatives as one to be consigned to oblivion, and counting it one of the unlucky days, instead of forgetting because of one day the many good days in which we grew up and lived together? For either it is in vain and to no avail that Nature has given us gentleness and forbearance, the child of restraint, or we should make the utmost use of our virtues in our relations with our family and relatives. And our asking and receiving forgiveness for our own errors reveals goodwill and affection quite as much as granting it to others when they err. For this reason we should neither overlook the anger of others, nor be stubborn with them when they ask forgiveness, but, on the contrary, should try to forestall their anger, when we ourselves are time and again at fault, by begging forgiveness, and again, when we have been wronged, in our turn should forestall their request for forgiveness by granting it before being asked. Eucleides, the Socratic, is famous in the schools because, when he heard an inconsiderate and brutal speech from his brother who said, "May I be damned if I don't get even with you," he replied, "And so will I, if I don't persuade you to stop your anger and love me as you used to do."

 Notes and References

"... Forgiveness, reconciliation, patience. Finally, ancient moralists stress the importance of practicing forgiveness within the kinship group, of bearing patiently with one another and seeking reconciliation wherever a breach occurs. Plutarch advises that a brother ought to rebuke a brother with all frankness when he errs, “but should apply his admonition as one who cares for his brother and grieves with him” (“On Fraternal Affection” [Mor. 483B], LCL). Gentleness and forbearance are to characterize a sibling’s approach to the fault or injury caused by another ... The similarities between this ethic and the practice of mutual forgiveness (and, indeed, of forestalling anger by going ourselves to those we have hurt or provoked) enjoined by Jesus and Paul cannot escape notice (see Mt 5:23-24; 18:15, 21-22; Col 3:12-13) ..."

DeSilva, David A. Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture (pp. 172-173) InterVarsity Press, 2000

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