Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32, NLT

Forgive. Is there any word that humbles our spirits more than this one? Forgive means I’m letting someone off the hook. It means shutting down the stories in my head from the past. My ego prefers to post my mini dramas on a marquee for all the world to see. After all, I was hurt and the whole thing was unfair. Why should I forgive? It feels like I’m putting salt in a wound. Of course, this is only one half of the story.

Forgiven. Wow! There it is, the addition of one little letter “n” and things start to turn around. I was wrong, but I was forgiven. Whew! Now I can try again, try to do better next time. Try to become more of the person I really want to be. Yes, being forgiven is a good thing!:

“Issues around forgiveness may cause your heart sadness, or even make you fearful. You may have people who still cause you to grow angry as you think of them. Something that offended you or wounded your pride way back when, wounds you again with each thought as the incident comes freshly to mind. You imagine that it’s no big deal because it happened years ago.”  (Strength for Your Soul)

The thing is that any feeling of unforgiveness that lingers in your soul, causes you pain. It shrinks your spirit and it takes away your peace. It has power over you that does not serve you well. So what can you do?

It may help to simply recall all the times God has forgiven you. After all, you seek God’s forgiveness so that your errors of judgment, those unkind deeds or angry words can be wiped away, and expunged from your record. You want to be a person who is willing to forgive others the same way that God forgives you…which is fully, unconditionally, and forever.

When you’re suffering over a matter that involves forgiveness, imagine what it would be like, if your mistakes were not forgiven by grace and mercy and love.  Be the first to forgive, freely and kindly, not just to others, but to yourself. Forgiveness brings healing to your heart and peace to your soul.