The How of Forgiveness

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your Name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your Name’s sake.

Psalm 79:9
It's sometimes said that an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind. This rather succinctly sums up the problem with forgiveness. It's very difficult on two fronts. 

On the one hand, it's hard to forgive a wrong that's done, especially if that wrong left us hurt or damaged. Despite all the teachings of the Christian religion aimed toward forgiving our enemies, we still have trouble accomplishing this central tenet of our religion.

And on the other hand, it's difficult to accept forgiveness. I still feel guilty about this thing that I did—how can the other party truly have forgiven me? How can God possibly have forgiven me?

But God shows us that love is perfected in forgiveness—not a conditional forgiveness for small infractions of the law, but the ultimate forgiveness for the sin that resulted in his Son's death. It's only in understanding and accepting the unlimited reach of God's love and forgiveness that we can come to comprehend how to truly make it work in our own lives.

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
 1 John 4:10
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Help me to forgive, O God, as I have been forgiven.
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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