Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things we are asked to do. True forgiveness, releasing the thing that we have held, pushes us and our faith. We learn forgiveness early on in our lives. We are taught to say ‘I’m sorry’ and to move forward. As we grow up, we learn that not forgiving becomes like a disease that eats slowly away at our peace and our joy. So we learn what it means to forgive others and do the best we can with it.
What I think is even more difficult is to learn to forgive ourselves. We know our mistakes. We know the things we have done – even if no one else does. We know our intentions. We know our own heart. We know our past. And it seems our past can haunt us at the worst times. Our insecurities creep up and consume us when we aren’t even looking. We can’t seem to escape our past so we don’t understand the importance of forgiving ourselves. Yet, it is one of the most freeing and loving things we can do.
God reminds us that he forgives us. He tells us that he does not hold our past against us. We are forgiven by an Almighty God that knows all our bad stuff. He knows our anger. He knows the things we hold inside. He gets that we should have done things we didn’t. He understands that we didn’t do something we should. And yet, he loves us anyway. He is the provider of mercy and grace. He is the greatest One to forgive. We can release those things which are hurting us. We can begin to forgive ourselves of those things which are holding us back and causing us harm. We can know that the past is just that – the past. We have a bright future ahead. We have more opportunities to love and be kind and do the right thing. We have so much ahead – and it all begins with forgiveness – from God and for ourselves. If God has forgiven us, why are we holding those things inside. Today is the day to release – be set free – and move forward in God’s love, mercy and grace.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery