A while back I received a call from someone I hadn’t spoken to in three years. Before I picked up the phone, I tried to think of a reason for them to be calling me, but nothing came to mind. After chatting for a few minutes, they asked me a question I wasn’t expecting to hear: “Will you forgive me?” And that was it. That was the reason for their call; to ask for my forgiveness over something that happened several years ago.
I hung up the phone and sat still for a few minutes to figure out what this weird feeling was that I had. It was like I gained a freedom that I didn’t realize I needed. Almost as if some sort of weight was lifted that I didn’t know was weighing me down. All because I had forgiven someone.
This got me thinking about how important it is that we ask for forgiveness for our wrongdoings, forgive others for theirs, and even forgive ourselves, so here we go:
1. ASK FOR FORGIVENESS
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” – Acts 3:19 (NIV)
If you’re still dwelling on something from your past that you think you should or shouldn’t have done, maybe you haven’t fully trusted that God forgives you. Set aside any excuses and fully surrender your wrongdoings. We are not defined by the sins we have committed, but rather invited by God (WITH all of our baggage) to be forgiven.
2. FORGIVE YOURSELF
Maybe it’s just me, but almost every time I’ve done something wrong, it’s like I hold a grudge against myself long after the other person (usually my husband, sorry Mase) has forgiven me. Is anybody else extremely hard on themselves? Whether you did something this morning or years ago, and it’s been lingering in your heart, let it go. In order to heal past bruises and open wounds, we must forgive ourselves first. If you haven’t forgiven yourself, somewhere deep down you may not believe that God has forgiven you. Stop hiding in the shadows of your past and rest in God’s forgiveness.
3. FORGIVE OTHERS
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
We have all been sinned against, whether in small or greater ways, but choosing to forgive others is honoring to God and brings lasting peace in our relationships. Being eager to forgive shows the loving and forgiving spirit of God in you, which mends the broken bond between you and whoever has hurt you. Recognizing that we’re all sinners, we should reflect the same grace God has for us to others. We will continue to sin over and over, but God chooses to forgive us every single time — let’s strive to do the same for others.
“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God.” – Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
Praise God that we cannot be separated from His love. Jesus lived a perfectly blameless life, but was mocked, scorned, whipped and beaten. That is the reason we can find freedom — freedom from anger, bitterness and resentment.
Choose forgiveness because we have been forgiven.
----- LET'S KEEP IN TOUCH -----
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