#Lent: Forgiving others (& ourselves)

“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” Corrie ten Boom

Forgiveness is one of those Hard Things in our lives of faith that Christ asks us to do. In today’s Gospel when Peter asked, “how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answers, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)

Oft times forgiving others is not an easy thing to do even once, but 77 times? That’s a whole lot of forgiveness.

Forgiveness sets us free from the hold bitterness and hurts have over our hearts. Maybe the 77 times is that when we forgive by God’s mercy and grace (it’s sure hard on my own steam) we need to keep forgiving others (& ourselves.)

Say we forgive someone (or ourselves) for something specific, but a few weeks later we get steamed up about it, so we go through Forgiveness 101 again (& again) until we get to the 501 level where our anger & bitterness finally dissipate when the issue resurfaces.

Again, not (not not not not) easy, this forgiveness thing. This cracked clay pot usually needs lots of prayer (& Holy Spirit assistance) to forgive.

But Jesus Christ on the Cross asked God:

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

grace, peace & forgiveness

Virginia : )

 “Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” Anonymous

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13 Responses to #Lent: Forgiving others (& ourselves)

  1. Jeff Rab says:

    For many, the hardest person in the world to forgive is themselves….at least, for me it is. Thank you for the post!!

  2. Debbie says:

    Forgiving isn’t always easy, but it’s something we’re called to do. After all, God forgives US and instructed us to do as He does!

    • Virginia says:

      Amen, Debbie – It’s always a good reminder in the Our Father, to forgive – & keep on forgiving (altho methinks Holy Spirit power is needed for the biggies!) Blessings! ✨💜✨

  3. Cj says:

    One of my favorite writings…so true…Jesus forgave me..

  4. Cindy Kranich says:

    What a powerful message re’ forgiveness, GL. You’ve been a great forgiver on so many levels❣️🥰

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Cin. The grace of Christ in me (& power of Holy Spirit) has made forgiveness possible. (As Papa said, “I can’t, but God can’) The 77 thing hit me while on 8-day silent retreat when things kept resurfacing- & I had to keep cycle of forgiveness flowing for certain beanheads in my life (again & again!) Hugs! ✨🙏✨

  5. Mackenzie says:

    I really like this post! It is not a easy thing to do. (especially when trying to forgive oneself) I also like the part where you talked about Jesus. When he was about to die, he said please forgive them. Which teaches me that I should forgive others, because Jesus forgave them even though they were doing bad things to him. But, why do you think it is so hard to forgive others?

    • Virginia says:

      Forgiveness is super tough, but it’s an important part of our faith (as you noted, Jesus asks us to do it) & the journey of healing (especially when we need to forgive ourselves.) Forgiving others is hard because it goes against the retributive cycle in our culture (& often in our hearts- If someone does something not nice to me I’ll do something even worse in return…) I usually need lots of Heavenly- Holy Spirit help to forgive others! Blessings!! 🌟💜🌟

      • Mackenzie says:

        That’s so true. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. There is a scripture I found that goes along with the thought of making our Heavenly Father happy. It is at Proverbs 12:22, it says: “Lying lips are detestable to God, but those acting faithfully bring pleasure to him.”​ How do you think this scripture applies?

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