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To Forgive is to Love

With the New Year beginning and a new semester starting up again, people are constantly making new goals for themselves, attempting to change for the better. As Christians, it’s not uncommon to see people wanting to spend more time with God, become a Godlier person, ask God for forgiveness for the past year, etc. I wanted to focus on forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerful word that enables us to heal and move forward in life. I would like to look at three different aspects of forgiveness: God’s forgiveness, forgiving others, and forgiving ourselves.

God’s forgiveness is a blessing. It first gives us a chance to figure things out for ourselves, but when mistakes are made, it gives us an opportunity to put our pride aside, ask for help and move forward. God’s number one rule is love, and in love, he forgives all our sins. We are not perfect, nor are we ever going to be. God made us to be lesser than him, imperfect. This means we are going to make mistakes, and God only asks one thing of us — to come to him on our knees and ask him for forgiveness.  He will. John the Evangelist says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” In Acts 3:19, Luke states, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” He doesn’t expect anything more from us than he knows we are capable of. All he wants is us to come to him when in need.

Forgiving others is a hard topic. There’s always that one person you dislike more than anything, that does nothing but hurt you, and the last thing you want to do is forgive them and show them love. But have you ever envisioned yourself in the other person’s shoes for a moment? Could you possibly see where they’re coming from? I’m sure if you stepped back and put your hatred aside, then you would see the other person is just as broken as you. Someone hurting, confused, and in desperate need of the love of Christ that only you can show them. God calls us to love one another. It never says in the Bible we are going to like everyone. In fact, it says we need to accept that not everyone is going to like us. But love and like are two very different words. Love is                                                                                                                                              unconditional and has healing powers. Like is simply an opinion. So in this new year, make a resolution to forgive and forget. Move on from your resentment, and love again!

Forgiving ourselves. You think it would be easy to forgive yourself, considering God forgives us without conditions, but it’s not. There is a reason we feel guilt. Oftentimes, we hold onto the guilt which prevents us from becoming the person God truly wants us to be. But have you ever thought about what you are saying to God by not moving forward? What you are doing to God simply because you haven’t forgiven yourself? Are you more important than God himself? He graciously gives us every opportunity to flourish in this Earthly life. Don’t stop yourself from flourishing simply because of your pride. Like you forgive others, forgive yourself and continue to glorify God again!

To forgive means to stop feeling anger towards, or to stop blaming yourself or another. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Let’s help each other forgive so we can move forward and continue to do as God commands: love.

 

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