Welcome to my world! I decided to start with a series of series because, well, I heart irony! I can’t think of a better way to simplify your life then to lighten your spiritual load so forgiveness seemed like a great place to begin. First in this series, let's lay the foundation by looking at what the bible has to say about the idea. Yeah, the Bible, it turns out life did come with an instruction manual and I can tell you the insights the bible provides on forgiveness are (not surprisingly) life changing. Then we will move onto looking at the whole matter from the perspective of others (yeah, that’s a real thing too ;-) and lastly we’ll delve into practical, hands on ideas to send you on your merry way! That's three post (hellooo series!) so lets jump on in.
So I made a very short list of people I wanted, no wait, needed, to forgive and curled up in bed with the Bible. My first shock came when I learned that if you forgive someone of their sin, they are gone for good. Not the actual person, it turns out, just their sins go away ;-). But really, in John 20:23 (The message) it says: “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good.” What an amazing step to take right? I’ve been praying on this myself and actually feel really awesome in the joy of playing my part. As unnatural as it might first seem, this knowledge has turned out to be a really liberating part of the whole forgiveness process. Certainly I feel far, far better than before when I cringed at the mere thought of someone. Now I smile, I really do!
You better be ready to pony up though, because in Luke 7:47 we learn that, “if the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal. OK, gotta bring it, duly noted. I was also stupefied in contemplation when I found James 5:16. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so you can live together whole and healed.”That last step is doozy and in some cases, maybe not always fully possible, for a variety of reasons, but just imagine the possibilities when you can not only forgive but also heal and live whole and joyful. Yes please! In Romans 5:20 aggressive forgiveness is referred to as grace and “grace invites us into life”. Suddenly any logic I had attached to the idea of carrying around a grudge had been replaced with a more than compelling shift in my perspective and the very real reward of knowing the power of forgiveness myself.
I'm working on it. Like anything else It does takes practice, that’s ok I suppose. Start with the guy who took your parking spot this morning and work your way up. The next time someone wrongs you just look at them, smile and think to yourself, “Dude, I’m going to forgive you so hard!”