Forgiveness is a gift

Blooming cactus at Frederick Meijer Gardens

Blooming cactus at Frederick Meijer Gardens

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” — Ephesians 4:32.

When someone wrongs me, the last thing I want to do is to forgive him and move on. If you’re like me, I want to think on it, mull it over, and play it again over and over in my head. When I rehearse the dirty details blow by blow, I notice I become angrier too. This isn’t how God desires me to act or think.

The Message reads, “Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”

Ouch! The last thing on my mind are the words gentle and sensitive. Forgive quickly? Not my style. Forgive thoroughly? Seriously — this is a suggestion, right? Wrong.

The reason for this tough assignment … God forgave me. Not just once, but over and over and over again. He continues to forgive me and take me back under his wings of love and protection.

How can I do any less for those who harm or hurt me intentionally or unintentionally?

Thank you, God, for forgiving me too many times to count. With your help and strength, I can forgive any wrong inflicted upon me.

Is there someone you harbor a grudge against? When you hear their voice or see them, does it bring up bitter feelings? Can you step back and remember the times God forgave you? Take time to thank God today for forgiving you. Ask him to give you the strength and the desire to forgive that person who wronged you.

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