Flowing Faith

Living Forgiveness

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Living forgiveness
Forgiveness is hard. Living forgiveness is ever harder. But we don’t have much choice if we want to have tender hearts and live fully. And the Bible is pretty adamant about forgiving too. This is what Jesus told us:

“Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4, MSG)

We don’t only need to forgive once. But we need to live forgiveness. Breath forgiveness. Forever and ever. Ouch.

Forgiveness does not come naturally to me especially when I’ve been severely hurt. After my first husband run away with another woman I struggled with forgiveness. But very soon I realized that I had a decision to make. Either I would not forgive and become a bitter person. Or I would – by God’s grace- forgive and become an openhearted person. I chose the latter and I have never regretted it.

Mary DeMuth states in her heartwarming book  The Wall Around Your Heart  “I believe that as we live for Jesus and continually submit ourselves to Him, we will enlarge.”

Unforgiveness hurts us, not the offender.
Forgiveness blesses us, not the offender.

As Mary DeMuth puts it “We are not built to carry offense. God designed us for joyful freedom.” I take joyful freedom over bitterness any day. How about you?

Wanting to live openheartedly gives us motivation to forgive. But even then it’s not easy, impossible without Jesus. But Jesus changed everything by carrying all our sins on the cross. Because of God’s grace forgiveness is possible.

Mary DeMuth writes “If I don’t believe that God’s grace is big enough to cover their [offenders’] sin, I have a small view of God, of Jesus’ outrageous act on the cross, and of grace.”

The aggressive forgiveness we call grace (Romans 5:20, MSG) conquers all. God’s power to forgive is yours by grace through faith in Jesus. (Follow this link if you want to find how to forgive in four steps.)

Living forgiveness requires living in grace. Without grace we are not graceful, we are unable to forgive. But God is eager to help us to live forgiveness on a daily basis. Christ has prepared the way to forgiveness and the Holy Spirit is ready to supply us with everything we need to live and breath forgiveness with every fiber of our being.

How do we respond? Do we want to hold grudge forevermore? Or do we embrace grace for living forgiveness? I vote for the latter. How about you?

 

Dear God,
Thank you for preparing the way to forgiveness.
Give us all the grace we need to forgive.
Show us how we can live forgiveness on a daily basis.
Fill us with hope, grace, and love.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you tend to hold grudges? Or are your a grace-giver? What does make it easier for you to forgive? How does forgiving make you feel?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you live forgiveness on a daily basis!

Photo courtesy of Domonic Webster, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke.  Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday, Playdates with God, and counting blessings with Ann Voskamp:  #1061 Forgiving brings freedom. #1062 Forgiving is possible by God’s grace.

I am part of Mary DeMuth’s launch team for her new bookand I have to say that this book absolutely rocks. It’s not only well  written but it is full of uplifting stories that just I can’t capture here on the blog. But make sure to visit the other blogs that are linked up here. They are also blogging through the book. Maybe together we can give a more vivid and accurate picture of the book. Also, make sure to visit this awesome blog where people share how this book has impacted them! You can buy your copy Here or at a bookstore near you. And note that this book will make a perfect gift too! BLESSINGS!

Flowing Faith

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12 Comments

  1. I’ve always believed in forgiveness and have followed through with it in the most difficult of times. But I’ve recently gone through a new circumstance. One that has made it terribly difficult to tread those waters of forgiveness. I’m pondering how relationships work when the party that hurts does not see that they’ve done wrong. I’m moving toward a more soft heart but God has a lot of work to do. Trying to figure out–forgiveness and boundaries in unsafe relationships. But I do know I need to move more toward forgiveness. Thank you for the encouragement for me to keep moving toward that.

    • We always have so much to learn! I hear you. Sounds like Mary’s book would be just for you! I think you’re on the right path and it does take time to be able to forgive. But know that keeping healthy boundaries is a good thing. God’s rich blessings to you as you search answers in these matters. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Loved Mary’s idea that forgiveness enlarges us. Great post, Mari-Anna

  3. I’m going to read the message version to my son – well, not ready – but slip into their day – they like to hold grudges against each other – teens do that so well! Thank you for this review – I want to read. The points are so important – it is hard to live, sometimes – easy to “give” forgiveness – but hard to live with the unstopping hurts!

  4. “Forgiveness is hard. Living forgiveness is ever harder.”

    I so agree. I relate to what you said about forgiving when your first-husband cheated. Same here. But what I discovered is how hard the “living” part was–I could forgive one day, but the next day I’d have to forgive all over again. It took a long time to “live” it out, not just feel it in one moment and be done.

    • Oh, yes. Living forgiveness day in, day out is really hard. I agree, the only way to do it is to give everything to Jesus again and again. Sometimes it is frustrating how long it really takes. But by God’s grace….it happens in God’s time. Thanks so much, Lisa, for sharing your experiences and understanding. I so appreciate your friendship. Be forever blessed!

  5. Oooh! I really love that quote by Mary, “If I don’t believe that God’s grace is big enough to cover their
    [offenders’] sin, I have a small view of God, of Jesus’ outrageous act
    on the cross, and of grace.” That one’s going up on my reminder wall. I definitely need it, Mari-Anna! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  6. Mari-Anna, accepting total forgiveness from the Lord frees us to forgive those who hurt us. For sure it’s an ongoing process that will never end till we see pure forgiveness face to face. I am in the process right now of forgiving someone who hurt my children which in turn hurt me. It is not easy but necessary if I am to represent Christ to those around me. I am thankful God gave us the process of forgiveness. Great post.

    • Thank you, Betty, for sharing and commenting. It is so hard to forgive but it really blesses us. Sometimes I have to first pray that God will give me a desire to forgive before I can start praying to strength to forgive. But God knows us and will guide us through the process. Grace-filled blessings to you and yours!

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