Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.
A man was awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call. On the other end was a frantic and sobbing girl who managed to get out these words, "Daddy, I'm pregnant." He was groggy and stunned but communicated his forgiveness and managed to pray with her.
The next day he and his wife wrote their daughter two letters of counsel, love and support. Three days later the man received another phone call. His daughter was shocked by the letters because she was not the one who had called. Some other distraught girl had dialed a wrong number. However, the letters were not wasted. Their expressions of unconditional love and forgiveness are now a treasured possession.
Here are a few excerpts from the letters:
"Though I weep inside, I can't condemn you, because I sin too. Your transgression is no worse than mine. It's just different. It all comes from the same sin package you inherited through us. We're praying much. We love you more that I can say. And respect you, too, as always. Remember, God's love is in even this, maybe especially in this. This is a day of testing but hold our ground we must. God will give us the victory. We're looking forward to your being at home. Love, Dad."
What a wonderful lesson to learn. Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive. To genuinely know that you have been forgiven is the first requirement for forgiving others. To recognize our own sin is the next step to forgiving others. A hug of assurance is always a good last step to forgiveness.
I thank God for a recent act of repentance and forgiveness in which I was involved. It was a blessing and brought a much needed closure to the guilt that is often associated with wrongdoing towards another.
Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive!
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