“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” (Romans 4:7-8 NIV)
Forgiveness builds our relationship with God, with others, and with ourselves.
Forgiveness is our network connection to God. Recognizing God’s perfection requires recognizing our imperfection. Everyone needs forgiveness. Everyone has done something they judge “unforgivable.” We all have something we’re afraid people will find out. But when we take that act before God, He forgives it. He takes our imperfections and makes them perfect. He gives us new life with a clean slate. All past mistakes are forgiven when we ask God to forgive them. God forgives us, then He expects us to forgive others.
Forgiveness allows you to move forward when we are offended. When we hold onto an offense, we become stuck. We’re like a truck stuck in the mud. Our tires spin round and round. The more gas we give it, the faster the tires spin. Mud flies from the wheels, covering anyone who is within range. No matter how hard we try, we go nowhere. We’re stuck in the mud pit of offense, flailing, as life passes us by. But the moment we forgive, the wheels find traction. We start to move forward. We let go of the offense. We embrace the life God has for us. Forgiveness helps receive God’s goodness.
Forgiveness helps us receive God’s goodness.
I’m embracing a new technique I learned from Dr. Laurie Santos. R.A.I.N.: Recognize, Accept, Investigate, Nurture.
When I apply this method to an offense, it would look something like this. First I recognize the feeling I’m experiencing attached to the offense. Am I sad, disappointed, mad? What emotion is the offense causing me to feel. Once I’ve identified the emotion, I accept it. I allow myself to feel the sadness, disappointment or anger. Then I investigate why I’m feeling the emotion. I ask myself, “Why is it evoking this response in me?” This one question leads to self discovery. We all have things we have yet to discover about ourselves. Things other people know about us, but we don’t know it about ourselves. And then I nurture. I talk to myself the way I would talk to a friend. I remind myself, in the case of offense, I’ve offended people too. Whoever probably didn’t mean to hurt me. I reframe the situation from a fresh perspective. I forgive. Then I move on to what God has for me next.
Just as God forgives us, and as we forgive others, we need to forgive ourselves. Once God forgives, He forgets. Allow yourself to forget too. Let His grace fill you. Let His grace lead you to His goodness.
Question of the Day:
Where is forgiveness needed in your life today?