Forgiveness…It’s wonderful to receive it, even if we don’t feel like we deserve it. Forgiveness is also wonderful to extend to others, even if we don’t feel like THEY deserve it! Forgiveness is wrapped up with mercy and grace, all actions God extends to us. It only makes sense that we should likewise forgive others.
Here is some inspiration for this evening…
“Lord, how I rejoice that through Christ I am all right as a person, now and forever: totally clean, every stain removed..totally forgiven, no matter how great or recent a failure I’ve had to confess, or how often I have failed. What amazing grace! What undeserved acceptance and favor!
How wonderful that You ask me to do absolutely nothing to earn Your forgiveness–no striving to measure up, no self-punishment, no prolonged remorse, no self-blame, no deeds of penance…
I don’t have to sink down into regrets, or into shame, or into denial, or into excuses for things I do wrong.
I’m so thankful that You don’t hold a pair of scales and ask me to pile up enough good works to outweigh my sins, my failures, my unworthiness….it’s all by grace through faith.
What an incentive to live a life that pleases You, that brings You joy and not grief!”
–Ruth Myers in “31 Days of Praise”
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”
What a concept– unconditional, undeserved love and forgiveness! I think we can be our own worst enemies and we often have impossible expectations for ourselves; then when we fail, we usually do feel like we have to do those “deeds of penance” and feel ashamed and remorseful. Yet all we have to do is receive God’s forgiveness, by grace through faith! Why is it so hard sometimes?
It’s likewise difficult sometimes to see the positive in other people, but instead we hold grudges, and tend to be especially stingy with forgiving those who hurt or offend us. One thing I learned a long time ago is it helps to make the choice to forgive someone even if the feelings aren’t quite aligned yet. But by making that choice to forgive, we set ourselves free from the bondage imposed by NOT forgiving.
So What Are YOUR Thoughts?
Do you find it easy or difficult to receive unconditional, undeserved forgiveness when you know you’ve been wrong?
Do you feel like you have to “earn” the forgiveness? or that others have to earn it before you extend it to them?