This challenge is to find someone to forgive this week. We are all trying to improve and be better mothers. I think one very important step is to forgive and forget. Let go of any grudges or hurt feelings you may have. Forgiveness is a choice that you make. There is peace and healing that comes as you learn to let things go and forgive. It can also help reduce stress, blood pressure, heart disease, and even help you get better sleep.
Not forgiving others can harm you. It can affect your body and spirit. You can’t focus on the truly important things when you are distracted by hurt and anger. That bitterness will fester and grow if not addressed. I have seen misunderstandings drive a wedge into many friendships and family relationships.
Think of someone right now that you could forgive. Maybe it’s one of your kids that was being rotten, or you had a disagreement with your spouse, siblings, parents, or school teachers. Maybe you have a feud with a neighbor, or you get upset when someone who cuts you off in traffic. Maybe you need to forgive yourself for doing or saying something dumb or for a past mistakes. I’m pretty sure we could all name a few people we could forgive.
So what now? How do you forgive? Here are some things I’ve found to be helpful.
- Let it go. Don’t look to get revenge or to think that your anger will somehow affect that person. Anger and bitterness only harm you…and maybe those that live with you.
- Prayer is a huge necessity to me. If there is one person who knows about true forgiveness, it’s our Savior. He can help you to forgive in any situation. Trust that he knows what is best for you. Trust Him and follow His guidance.
- Overcome that weird awkward phase when you are around that person and smile, or say hi. Seriously, after there is a rift between people, there is definitely some awkward time between those two people. It’s hard for me to be the first to reach out, but when I do, I see the awkwardness begin to slip away and the friendship slowly mending.
- Serve the person that hurt you-Look for something you can do for them or to help them.
- If it’s a family member, work on Family History It always helps bring families together.
- Learn from your mistakes. Try not to do them again. I know this is easier said than done, but don’t beat yourself up about it.
- Acknowledge that we are all imperfect and that we all make mistakes.
- Try to see them as God sees them.
One of my very favorite examples of forgiveness is Corrie ten Boom-
Corrie ten Boom, a devout Dutch Christian woman, found such healing despite having been interned in concentration camps during World War II. She suffered greatly, but unlike her beloved sister Betsie, who perished in one of the camps, Corrie survived.
After the war she often spoke publicly of her experiences and of healing and forgiveness. On one occasion a former Nazi guard who had been part of Corrie’s own grievous confinement in Ravensbrück, Germany, approached her, rejoicing at her message of Christ’s forgiveness and love.
“‘How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein,’ he said. ‘To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!’
“His hand was thrust out to shake mine,” Corrie recalled. “And I, who had preached so often … the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
“Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. … Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.
“I tried to smile, [and] I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.
“As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.
“And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”1
Check out this video of Chris Williams who forgave the drunk driver after his wife and 2 kids were killed. (It’s a tear-jerker)
True forgiveness is one of the most inspiring things to me. I have seen miracles come through forgiveness. Look for someone that you can forgive this week. You won’t regret it!
Things that inspired me…