"Peter approached Jesus and asked him, 'Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?'"
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things we humans have to wrap our minds around. And one of the most difficult aspects of that is the act of forgiving ourselves. We can be so good at guilt that we can mire ourselves in it for years, thinking ourselves unworthy of God's forgiveness. If we cannot imagine God is merciful enough to forgive us, how can we picture our little human selves able to forgive others? A couple of lessons from "The Shack" really stood out to me in the forgiveness realm. First, God tells Mack that the healing of forgiveness affects the forgiver. Mack's anger was harming him, much more than the offender. God wanted Mack to forgive to free him, Mack, thus releasing the offender to God. "I'm just asking that you let go of his throat," God pleads. God assured Mack that he could forgive with God's help and he wasn't alone in his efforts. That is reassuring. And finally, it takes time and even practice--the act of forgiving. Just saying the words are a beginning, eventually the heart will follow. Lent is such a good time to revisit any grudges or ill will we may harbor towards others, and to let it go. Release it to God, who knows what to do with it. Love, heidi