Forgiveness is the work of the courageous. There are many – from all walks of life – who testify to that and who state the importance of practicing it in our lives:
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” – Jesus (Matthew 6:14)
“We must learn to forgive.” – Mother Theresa
“When you haven’t forgiven those who’ve hurt you, you turn your back against the future. When you do forgive, you start walking forward.” – Tyler Perry
“Forgiveness is God’s command.” – Martin Luther
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde
So, why is forgiveness – like Wanda showed her father – so important?
Dr. Tabor Shares Three Reasons We Should Forgive
1. We are told to forgive. – As is mentioned above, Jesus tells us to forgive others. Peter asked Jesus how many times we were required to forgive – seven? That might seem like a strange number, but, in Peter’s time, the religious leaders said you only had to forgive someone three times. Jesus answered Peter that he was to forgive 77 times. Now, this doesn’t mean we need to keep track. What Jesus was telling Peter – and what Peter no doubt understood – is that there is no limit to the number of times we are to forgive. (Matthew 18)
2. Unforgiveness hurts us. – Unforgiveness can hinder our prayers. Many times we hold onto unforgiveness, and we expect it to hurt the person toward whom we harbor those feelings. It has been said, however, that holding unforgiveness inside you is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It hurts you and causes stress and negativity in your life – not the other person’s.
3. We are forgiven. – God forgives us. We are to forgive others. That is what Jesus was saying in Matthew 6. It is out of gratitude for God’s forgiveness that we can forgive.
That said, forgiveness is not always easy. It is a process, but, with God’s help, we can move through it.
We can forgive – like Wanda forgave.
“I’m so happy to meet my dad,” said Wanda. Although they’ve had discussions as to what happened over 40 years ago, Wanda isn’t interested in dwelling on the past. She wants to get to know who her father is now and enjoy the short time they have together. That’s what’s important – providing memories that will last until the end of time.
Did you see the very fitting song Wanda’s dad sang to her, and hear Wanda’s teary account of the beautiful story?
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