Whenever I talk about forgiveness, the reminder of grudges, hurts and past pains seem to surface in people’s lives. I will get emails, Facebook and Twitter direct messages confessing to scars and wounds being opened. In fact, the reaction to the topic of forgiveness is so tender for many, that it draws me back to the issue frequently.
As believers, we are called to offer forgiveness, because we first have been forgiven. Here are 7 principles for offering true forgiveness.
Reflect on your own forgiveness. The fact that God forgives us through His Son Jesus should fuel our willingness to offer forgiveness to others.
Consider the imperfection of others. Resist the opportunity for revenge. Don’t hold people to standards they cannot live up to.
Look at your own plank. You aren’t perfect either and probably don’t meet all the expectations others have of you.
Build positive learning experiences….even from negative experiences.
Release the burden of guilt that you are holding against yourself and others. Guilt absorbs a person’s energy. Releasing guilt provides freedom.
Don’t avoid future conflict. It’s a part of life among imperfect people. You will need to practice forgiveness many times in life. The more you practice the better you will become at offering it.
Set a new path. In freedom and forgiveness, learn from your experiences and live a life closer to the model Christ set for us; loving others as we love ourselves; forgiving as we have been forgiven.
Whom do you need to forgive? Is it a parent, friend, family member, ex-spouse, co-worker, boss, or maybe even you? Do yourself a favor…with God’s help and grace, extend forgiveness today!