Forgiveness

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8


Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”                                                                                                                               Luke 11:4

Forgiveness. This concept, so essential to the Christian faith, is really a foundational principle of human interaction. Often, I discuss with my clients the need for forgiveness. Forgiveness of others, as well as ourselves. As the Easter season draws close this week, the concept of Jesus dying for the sins of the world is celebrated.

Just think about what forgiveness is. It is the act that frees us from guilt. It is the tool that allows a fresh start. It is the healer of broken relationships. It is the act that frees both the forgiver and the one forgiven.

Frederic Luskin wrote a book titled Forgive for Good (what a great title, right?), and in it he discusses the dynamics and process of forgiveness. He talks about how we tend to build up “grievance narratives” in our mind, and how this tends to make our case for why we were “wronged”. We can then begin to nurture a sense of entitlement to hold resentments. Such resentments, over time, become bitterness, and eventually, they rob us of joy.

All of us at one time or another have held on to our own little grievance narratives for some period of time, and at some point (hopefully) we have seen the futility of such thinking. Those narratives, if held long, lead us into a victim mentality, and there is only one thing that can come of that- if you think you are a victim, you become one.

That, of course, is a very bad plan.

So, this week is a good time to consider that we have been forgiven of our sins by Jesus. What better way to express our gratitude for such forgiveness than to make sure that we forgive others who may have wronged us?

Prayer: Lord, help us to extend to others the forgiveness you freely grant to us, Amen  

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