Peace family, what does “forgiveness,” mean to you?
Among other things, lately, God has been highlighting opportunities in my life to forgive, and forgiveness is something that I spend a lot of time thinking about. What do we owe to the people who hurt us? What if they continue to hurt us, or deny that they ever hurt us in the past? Does it mean we have to pretend that they didn’t hurt us, or try to forget what they do, as part of the well-known phrase, “forgive and forget” (a phrase that actually, is not in the Bible)? How does forgiving “seventy times seven,” really play out in life?
I read a book put out by the Celebrate Recovery program called Life’s Healing Choices, and it’s made a big impact on me, particularly the chapter about Choice 6, which has to do with extending and receiving forgiveness in relationships. In that chapter, we learn that forgiving others is important because it frees us from what has been done to us and allows us to heal, and because we need God’s forgiveness ourselves. It’s hard to forgive those who’ve wronged us, but it’s especially hard when we don’t really understand the forgiveness that God offers us. We can also let God be the one to worry about the justice side of things.
I don’t have all the answers, and I still have a lot of questions, but one thing I do know: God is faithful, God is loving, God is loyal, God is true, and God’s love for his children is unconditional. God’s grace is always sufficient. If this is something that you are working through, don’t give up! God is with you every step of the way.
My prayer for you today, Peace Family, is that God would comfort you, and that if forgiveness is an area where God is working in your life, that you will have time this week to pray and focus on God, and a hunger to know him and his character through the Bible, including his thoughts about forgiveness.
Anyway, just a few thoughts from your friendly, neighborhood Kat.