Thought of the Day October 8, 2023 Forgiveness

By 10:12 AM

I have often said, “I forgive you,” but even as I said these words my heart remained angry or resentful. I still wanted to hear the story that I was right after all; I still wanted to hear apologies and excuses; I still wanted the satisfaction of receiving some praise in return—if only the praise for being so forgiving!

"But God’s forgiveness is unconditional; it comes from a heart that does not demand anything of itself, a heart that is completely empty of self-seeking. It is this divine forgiveness that I have to practice in my daily life. It calls me to keep stepping over all my arguments that say forgiveness is unwise, unhealthy, and impractical. It challenges me to step over all my needs for gratitude and compliments. Finally, it demands of me that I step over that wounded part of my heart that feels hurt and wronged and that wants to stay in control and put a few conditions between me and the one whom I am asked to forgive. . . . Only when I remember that I am the Beloved Child can I welcome those who want to return with the same compassion as that with which the Father welcomes me. (Henri Nouwen)

How often does our forgiveness reflect God's forgiveness? How often do we say the right words but they do not reflect our heart? When our forgiveness reflect God's, then a true inner peace flows through me. When mine is a lip service forgiveness, the pain in my heart continues to be ripped open. Forgiveness is not easy. When you do not think the person deserves to be forgiven, ask yourself if you deserve it. God forgives us not because we deserve it, but because he choses to because he cares for us.

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