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A Word about Forgiveness

A Word about Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.”

It’s one of my favorite quotes.

Most of us know that, when we hang on to past wrongs, hurts and grudges, we suffer far more than the person who has wronged us. Like anger, holding grudges is an “acid” that destroys it’s container-us!

But all transgressions are not equal–by any means. Hurts vary widely.

Some hurts are relatively minor and easily forgiven. But forgiveness usually becomes an increasingly more difficult challenge as the severity of the offense increases.

See if you can imagine the most painful thing that could happen in your life. What would hurt you more than anything else? What kind of loss would be unimaginable and unspeakable?

For most of us, it would probably be the loss of someone very, very close and important to us, a spouse, a child, a grandchild.

Thankfully, the majority of us will never be in a position to experience the loss of a child or grandchild. However, many do experience those losses due to medical circumstances such as incurable diseases. Others suffer that kind of loss as a result of tragic accidents on the highways or in the home.

But can you imagine your overwhelming pain and suffering, your bitterness and resentment, your desire for vengeance if the life of someone you love dearly was intentionally taken by someone else? If your loved one was the victim of murder?

I hope you will take the time (6½ minutes) to watch the following video. A remarkable lady, Mary Johnson, vividly and forcefully illustrates one of the most important components for healthy living: forgiveness.

We are in a season characterized by the giving and receiving of gifts. It’s a wonderful time of the year. With all its stresses and strains, the Christmas season focuses our attention on selecting gifts that will symbolize to our friends and family members how important they are to us.

Most of us (probably) are not thinking about giving to ourselves.

However, I suggest that you to re-think that for just a minute. If you were going to give yourself a gift this year, what might it be?

In keeping with the theme of this “Word,” I challenge you to think of a person or persons you need to forgive. Someone who has hurt you. Someone who has wronged you. And then, take the necessary steps to forgive:

  • You may want to say a prayer.
  • You may want to write out your statement of forgiveness.
  • You may want to share this decision and this statement with a trusted friend or family member.

Think about it. What more important, more powerful, more valuable gift can you give yourself right now than to forgive someone else!


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