tonight at theWell, Jonny Sharp brought a powerful message about forgiveness.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. -Matthew 6:14-15there comes a point in every person's life where we simply cannot find it in us to forgive someone.
whether it's ourselves or others, we struggle.
Matthew 6:14-15 reminds us that in order to receive God's forgiveness, we must forgive.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
Lewis B. Smedes
i've struggled with forgiveness immensely in my past.
i held grudges against friends.
there are things in my past that i have done that it took a long time to forgive myself for.
for about four years, i held in unspoken anger towards my mom. how messed up is that?!
there were a lot of circumstances that i didn't know about or understand fully.
regardless, this is an open confession of how much i struggled with forgiveness and the lackthereof.
Jonny made an excellent point tonight: how we forgive ourselves is often a reflection of how we forgive others. december 2009 was a huge turning point in my life.
i look at the years before then and realize how much anger and bitterness i held inside.
but i look at the years following that time and i see how far God's grace has carried me.
it was in december 2009 that i started this blog, and by God's grace i've come miles and miles and miles from where i was.
i used to think i was a "good person" so i judged others and their shortcomings.
but i was humbled and reminded of how far i had fallen.
i held grudges because i always wanted to be in control.
then i encountered Jesus in a powerful way and realized i wasn't in control.
over the last three years, i've faced some of my biggest demons and forgiven people. lewis smedes was absolutely right in his quote about forgiveness - i was ultimately a prisoner to myself. and it all happened because i finally accepted God's mercy and grace.
i experienced unconditional love and mercy from some amazing spiritual leaders at Grace Community Church; found a vast amount of healing for myself and since, i have been able to forgive others. don't get me wrong, i still get mad and sometimes, i have to process through everything before i'm able to confront a person or situation, but ultimately, i know it was God's grace that has brought so much healing to me.
and because God was generous in grace to me, i am able to show that to others as well.
do you have a similar story?
how has God's grace transformed your life and your ability to forgive others?