Christ calls us to forgive. In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray, “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” Turn the other cheek. How many times? Seven times seventy?
Forgiveness isn’t easy. Sometimes it is almost impossible. But forgiveness is more for the forgiver than the one being forgiven. If you don’t grant forgiveness, you are left with hurt or anger that has nowhere to go. It pains the soul, over and over. Hurt or anger can become a controlling factor in your life.
My grandmother used to say, “Fake it till you make it.” If you behave as though you have forgiven the person, then it’s easier to forgive. (A lot of prayer helps, too!)
Forgiveness is not a once-and-done event. Sometimes I need to forgive many times, but that’s okay. The desire to be able to forgive brings us closer to forgiveness every time. Trust God to change your heart and give you the strength to let go and let God.
This message is from “As we forgive those who sin against us” by Tricia Niesche from the May 20, 2019, blog of the Women of the ELCA. Today we commemorate Anselm, Bishop of Canterbury, 1109.
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