Forgiveness is one virtue I have a very hard time with. I am trying, and trying very hard. I am putting my faith in Jesus to lead me and show me the way. I must admit I am a lot better at it now then say 10+ years ago. I am finding with my new-found study of God and His Word, it is easier than it has been before.
Every day that I read the Bible I find another passage that strikes my heart, like
“Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13b (NRSV)
which makes it easier and easier for me to place everything in God’s hand and rely on Jesus to help and guide me.
In Forward Day by Day they had a reading with a wonderful saying:
“The eternal God is whispering:
“Don’t fill your life with broken shards of the trivial;
tell someone you love them;
forgive from the heart.
Don’t defer joy to some future which never arrives.
I stand knocking at door.””
My great-aunt, who was like a mother to me, died in my arms; my brother-in-law passed away, so very unexpectedly, while my husband was with him. These deaths brought the realization of forgiveness and numbered days. However, I know someone who has had both parents die young and tragically and yet they harbor resentment and fill their life with broken shards of the trivial. I pray for this person every day that he/she will realize we need not harbor resentment in our hearts, because we just do not know when tragedy will strike. Instead we need to love one another and live each day as if it is the last. The whole meditation really spoke to me and I pray that it will also speak to you and those who need it.
Here are a few Bible verses that I go to during those times when I am struggling, or when that feeling of resentment begins to bubble deep down inside and I can feel it gurgling and know I am going to slip into – what ifs, and could of, should of and would of.
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
“Love prospers when a fault if forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9 (NLT)
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
“…Lord how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times.” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT)
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25 (NLT)
and finally Colossians 3:13-15 really hits it home every time I read it.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who
offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must
forgive others. Above all clothe yourselves with love, which binds
us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes
from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you
are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
How about you? How do you handle forgiveness?