“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you” Ephesians 4:32

Have you ever been given a beautiful, wrapped gift, with a lovely handwritten card, from a friend or a loved one? How did you feel after you received that gift? I know when I have received a beautiful gift from a friend, I felt loved, valued, and cherished.

God’s gift to us is his forgiveness of our past sins, attitudes, mistakes, and failings. Forgiveness is also a beautiful and powerful gift that we can give to others.

Have you had someone forgive you when you said something out of anger, or a mistake you made? How did it make you feel?

When Jesus died on the cross, he brought God’s plan for forgiveness to completion.

God’s forgiveness for us is a product of his grace, and because he has been gracious to us, we can be gracious to others.

Through God we learn how to forgive others and learn this importance of repentance and forgiveness leads us to inner healing and helps to keep our hearts pure and holy before God.

Why is forgiveness so important? Because throughout our lives, we are going to have many opportunities to extend forgiveness and to ask for it.

A good way of keeping ourselves free of resentment and unforgiveness, is to make a habit of thinking about your day and asking God is there anyone you need to forgive. When we make this a habit in our lives, we keep a short account of things that need to be dealt with.

We have a great example of how to forgive from our Heavenly Father. He forgives us graciously and quickly.

The other day, I had to say sorry to my 5 year old son for a mistake that I had made. He forgave me, and quickly moved on with the rest of the day. It was a good lesson for me to learn to continue to forgive quickly and not to hold onto things.

What about when you forgive, but you are still hurting?

From my experience, there are times when I have found it hard to forgive someone and I had to keep forgiving them, until it didn't hurt anymore. There are some hurts that need extra grace and God's love, and its ok to take your time with allowing God to heal you.

Is there someone you can give the gift of forgiveness to today?

Forgiving others is not easy, but it is necessary if we want to live a Godly, mature life.

The good news is every day we will have the opportunity to forgive, and practice being gracious to others. Forgiving others is a habit that is essential for us to build in our lives, the more we do it, the easier it is.

Today I want you to spend some time with God. Ask him if there is anyone you need to extend the gift of forgiveness to. Ask him if you need to ask others for forgiveness for something you have done.