3 Feb

Jesus taught, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you” (Mt 6:14). Peter asked Jesus how often it is necessary to forgive, and Jesus replied, “Seventy-seven times” (Mt 18:22), a number to be taken symbolically, not literally, for the never-ending way that we ought to forgive. –Michael Van Sloun

Have you ever been challenged by the concept of forgiveness? It’s easy to mistake the concept as letting the person who hurt you off the hook, excusing them from their wrong doing and perhaps having them think “it was no big deal.”

We often struggle with forgiveness when it IS a big deal. I want the hurtful to “pay” even if it is short lived and shallow in nature.

The TRUE nature of forgiveness is for YOU to be able to let go of the hurt; so that YOU stop “paying.”

I can think of times I have been hurt and needed to forgive someone. Of course it was to let the offender know that our relationship was still in tact, but more than that it was so I could finally stop grieving the situation and could prepare to move forward putting the situation behind both of us.

If I am the one who needs to be forgiven, I always hope my apology is sincere enough to help the offended loved one feel better about “us,” not just me. Somehow trying to make the situation diminish seems important to relieve the hurt.

Jesus asks us to forgive over and over and over again! He wants us to see forgiveness as so loving and so important that we become willing to do it over and over again, beyond our will, beyond our anger, beyond our hurt.

Forgiveness is designed to free you from the awful situation and move on.

Have you received forgiveness lately?

Have you offered forgiveness?

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