Forgiveness is a word that can be difficult to swallow from either perspective – receiving or granting. As I approached Day 2 of this 10-day journey, I listened for the key word today. As I shared on yesterday’s post, I wasn’t given the entire blueprint for this journey. I just know that it is absolutely necessary. Wikipedia describes forgiveness as an intentional and voluntary process. Forgiveness doesn’t just happen. There is a mindset that must change in order to offer forgiveness. Merriam Webster defines forgive as to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense. Forgive also means to cancel a debt.
So which is easier – forgiving someone or embracing the fact that you need to be forgiven? Feel free to sit with that thought for a moment. I think they both have some difficulty attached to them. The need to forgive someone requires that I get past the offense and grant release to someone else. I must make a decision to no longer hold them captive to the wedge between us. On the other end, when I need to be forgiven – it means I must acknowledge my faults and offenses so that I also can no longer be held captive.
Today I decided to start a forgiveness list. On one side of the page, I put “What I need to forgive.” On the other side of the page, I labeled it “What I need to be forgiven for.” I will not pretend it was easy to begin to write in either area. But I intend to keep that list before me and commit to filling it in and then taking action. The action plan must begin with prayer because forgiveness- whether given or received- must start within the heart.
Colossians 3:13 reminds us of this: Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
I challenge you to start your forgiveness list. It is introspective work that promotes the mending of our hearts. You may never be able to speak to everyone who ever offended you or ask to be forgiven of everyone, but I believe there is power in putting it down and then praying to our God who is able to mend beyond our human ability. We must first start the journey.