– by Mary May Larmoyeux –
Often it seems very easy to want to be forgiven … yet harder to forgive others, especially when we’ve been offended.
And yet, isn’t unforgiveness at the core of what often tears families and communities apart?
I pray that my legacy will be known for their forgiving spirits. That they will remember how God has forgiven them (Romans 5:8). And I trust the same will be true for me.
Do What Is Right
A few weeks ago I met Pastor Charlie Holley at a writers’ conference. He wrote a helpful book called Forgiveness, Walk me Through It. Holley says that as Christians, we need to do what is right.
“We cannot afford to wait on our emotions to catch up with what’s right in our spirit,” He says. “As a matter of fact, performing that which is spiritual often goes against what we are feeling; thus the two sides are often in conflict.”
You might be shaking your head right now, wondering, “Now exactly how can I forgive when I don’t feel like doing that? And ____ sure doesn’t deserve my forgiveness.”
Holley goes on to explain:
“To help us understand, let’s examine the words found in Romans 7:21-23, ‘So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.’
“These Scriptures are talking about the two great laws at work in our lives—the law of righteousness, which knows and acknowledges the good things we should do, and the law of sin, which persuades us to do those things which are wrong. In other words, spiritually, we know and want to do the right things, but in our bodies, we want to do the wrong thing.
“How do we do the spiritual and right thing and yet at the same time satisfy our emotions? The answer is quite simple—it cannot be done. We must do that which is right and allow our emotions to complain in the process.
“The way to do this is to go to God in prayer and ask Him to forgive those who have wronged us, even if we are seeking forgiveness for ourselves.”
Walking in Peace
And Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author of Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom, says: “Even when you can’t see the results—though the situation may not clear up entirely or get any better at all—you can still know that you’ve done what God has required of you. You can continue to forgive as His grace and love flow through you. And you can walk in peace—His peace.”
Now, here’s a question: Is there anyone who you need to forgive?
Would you like some creative ideas listed by month that can help you connect with your kids or grandkids? Check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart by Nancy Downing and Mary May Larmoyeux.