I’ve been given a great gift!
A friend of mine gave me this gift, and I didn’t even know it until recently.
My friend gave me the gift of forgiveness when I had been hurtful to him many years ago. This forgiveness has been so thoroughly given, he didn’t even need to talk about when he first started back to church.
But then, change happens.
While changes are often never easy, they can bring to light things that need to be said. During changes in responsibilities and positions at church, my friend was sad about these changes. This friend said, “It took me a long time to forgive you for what happened years ago, and that’s how I was able to come back to church, and now I don’t want things to change”.
When my friend told me this, I knew exactly what he meant. Tears flowing, I apologized for things I should have said long ago, “I’m sorry for the way I acted and for what I’ve said. You gave me a great gift by forgiving me even when I didn’t know it!”
I was deeply humbled.
I had been given a freedom I didn’t even realize I needed.
Freedom feels like living with a tight knot in your back for so long, you don’t even recognize the tension anymore. Then, when someone massages it away, you realize just how long you’d been unnecessarily living with it. The freedom of the newly relaxed muscle is glorious! You feel so light.
His gift of forgiveness was like that relaxed muscle. It made me feel so good, I wanted to share it with others.
The Holy Spirit had been nudging me to contact some other people to say words that needed to be said. For months, I kept putting it off.
But when my friend extended this gift of forgiveness and the resulting freedom, it gave me something else- the boldness to request this gift from others!
Not worried about what they would think or how uncomfortable I would feel, I contacted them to say the things that needed to be said.
One of those friends said, “I forgave and prayed away a long time ago!”
Another gift! More freedom!
Unpacking this more. there’s the gift of receiving forgiveness, and then there’s the gift of giving forgiveness.
“Lord, who do I need to forgive?” A few people come to mind.
Receiving forgiveness also helps you to forgive others. When you give forgiveness, the other person doesn’t even have to know. When you do, it helps you to not just let it go, but rather to entrust it to God! You are also giving yourself the gift of freedom when you forgive.
Sometimes, you receive the gift of forgiveness.
Sometimes, you request the gift of forgiveness.
Sometimes, you give the gift of forgiveness.
There is freedom in all of it!
How has this gift worked in your life?
How can you use this gift in our current days?
We have many opportunities around us.
I would love to hear about it! Leave a comment here. Share it on the WoW Facebook page. Or, email me your story! firstname.lastname@example.org