Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against someone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.” Mark 11:25 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You are responsible for forgiving”
Receiving and granting forgiveness is one of the dominant themes in the Bible. God forgives us, He wants us to forgive others, and we are also to forgive ourselves.
Forgiveness is a key ingredient to living a happy and successful life and it’s one of the primary reasons that many people aren’t happy. There are three avenues forgiveness must travel in our lives in order for us to be in right relationship with God, others, and ourselves. First, we must receive forgiveness from God for our sins. That comes through a personal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. When our sins are forgiven we will be at peace with God and then we can be at peace with others and with ourselves.
Second we must forgive others. God has forgiven us and He expects us to forgive others. Harboring a spirit of un-forgiveness becomes a toxic stew. The sense of resentment and anger plays in our mind, it churns in our gut, and it steals our joy. There are many good Bible studies and guides that can assist you in learning about the process of forgiveness. It is essential that we learn to forgive. You will not live a happy and well-adjusted life if you are not at peace with God and with others. And, you must learn to forgive yourself. God forgives you and you must forgive yourself.
In recent devotional messages we’ve been following our friend David Ponder, in the book “The Traveler’s Gift, on his adventures in time, encountering real historical figures and learning important life lessons from them. On his sixth stop in time David meets Abraham Lincoln and learns a powerful lesson about forgiveness. Here’s a summary of the principle David learned:
“I am a forgiving person. First, I forgive myself. When I forgive myself I release the demons of the past. I will no longer be my own worst enemy by reliving past mistakes and failures. Second, I forgive others. Forgiveness has power and value only when it is given away. I will not waste valuable time and emotional energy imagining revenge or fantasy confrontations. I am a forgiving person. I forgive myself and I forgive others.”
You are responsible for forgiveness. Seek forgiveness from God, give forgiveness to others, and be sure to forgive yourself.