For all have sinned; and fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins." Romans 3: 23-24
Have you every had a hard time forgiving someone who has "wronged you"? Well if you are like me, you've had many hard times. Over the past several years I have struggled with forgiveness in many different areas of my life. I have also learned that forgiveness can come in different ways. We all know that forgiving ourselves can be the hardest thing to do. But what about truly forgiving others? Some of us have family members of friends that have hurt us in the past. While we think we may have made peace with a certain situation, we really haven't. The hurt and bitterness may pop back up at any time. True forgiveness means letting go of that hurt and bitterness forever! Easier said than done right? But in Romans 3, Peter goes on to say: "For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us." Now that is forgiveness..with no strings attached! God doesn't grant us forgiveness if we live a perfect life and never sin again. He doesn't grant us forgiveness if we go to church every Sunday, or volunteer our time helping others. No, He grants us forgiveness through the sacrificing of his Son!! Jesus blood washed away any rules or conditions of truly being forgiven. If that has been done for us through God's mercy, then who are we not to truly forgive others as God forgave us. It can be a daily struggle for me sometimes not to think of the past hurts and guilt I have experienced. But I am challenged to live as God called me to live, with a heart full of compassion and forgiveness, not only for myself, but for others as well.