The word forgiveness is used a lot in sunday schools and church sermons and is the cornerstone of what it means to be "saved by grace" through Jesus Christ. We all know how important it is, we wouldn't be Christians without it. If God hadn't forgiven us for our sins, we wouldn't be able to have a new life with a relationship with Him. God doesn't just forgive us on the day that we accept Him into our hearts, He also forgives us every day, every second after that until we die and go to heaven to live with Him. Forgiveness. It's a big deal.
God isn't the only one who is supposed to forgive. We are too. In our life there will be many people who hurt us, disappoint us, treat us poorly, hurt our friends and family, demean us, curse at us, and humiliate us. God wants us to forgive them. The dictionary defines forgiveness as "to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt." Forgiveness is not earned, it is given as a free gift. We forgive otheres because God forgave us and we are so thankful that we want to follow in His footsteps.
Forgiveness is NOT easy. In some cases you can just say to yourself that you forgive someone and it's truly over. In other cases it make take months or even years to fully forgive. But it's God's will so He will help you if you need/want Him to! Ephesians 4:32 says "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."
The other side of the coin is forgiving yourself. Let's face it, we have all made mistakes in our life that we are not proud of. We have all been the one who hurt someone else at some point, the one who wanted the forgiveness. Sometimes we recieve that forgivness and sometimes we don't but we also have to pray and forgive ourselves. If we don't, it can eat up at you for years and years. In order to let it go you have to talk to God and ask Him to forgive you and then forgive yourself and move on. When the offense comes up in your mind (and it will) just remind yourself that God is GOOD and you are forgiven!!
This week, my Motivational encouragement for you is to find forgiveness. Forgive someone or finally forgive yourself. You will be so much lighter and free-er to hear what God wants to say to you.