We’ve done something to wrong someone. And we know it. And we feel awful about it. We’re abashed, ashamed. We do what we can. We want to make things right. We ask for forgiveness. And what a relief it is when that forgiveness is granted!
It can be hard to accept such a gift. A relationship is restored and maybe even strengthened. Our guilt is relieved. Forgiveness from someone is something to be very grateful for. Can you think of a time that you have received such forgiveness? How did that feel?
There is also another side to forgiveness. Sometimes we are the ones who have been wronged. Sometimes someone has done something that has caused us harm in some way. We bear the burden of the injury, the hurt, the pain. It may be something fairly minor. It may be devastating. But we carry the weight of having been wronged. It may linger and fester.
When we choose to forgive someone, we lay that weight down. We release that burden. We free ourselves from that load. And we can forgive whether the other party has requested that forgiveness or not. We can choose to forgive regardless of the demeanor of the other person.
Forgiving others restores us and frees us. Maybe you can think of someone who has hurt you. Forgive them in your heart. You don’t even need to tell them you have done so. And you likely will find that you have unburdened your spirit.
In this season of gratitude, may we give thanks for forgiveness – the forgiveness that we receive AND the forgiveness that we give.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thinks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16