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  • Writer's pictureGina Stinson

Days of Thanks Day 9

Forgiveness is freeing.

As one who has been forgiven—by God, others and even myself—I know the freedom that comes from forgiveness. I have felt the chains of guilt and shame and sin lift as the balm of forgiveness has been applied.

As one who has forgiven I have seen what forgiveness does for both the forgiver and the forgiven. To forgive someone allows the forgiver to move on, to make room for better experiences, to be at peace. On the flip side, watching someone receive forgiveness is beautiful. Whether it’s someone receiving the forgiveness of God or from another person, there is a sweet and refreshing atmosphere when forgiveness sweeps a room.

Forgiveness can be hard to give and to receive. It is a humbling of our hearts that gives up the real estate of bitterness and grudge-bearing to make way for new construction and relationship. I’ve found myself wanting to hold on to bad memories and unforgiveness even when I knew it was better to forgive. I wanted to have a reason to feel entitled to my feelings. God had a better way. Instead of my hands and heart being full of pain and hurt, he says, “Let go, be free.” (John 8:36)

There are sometimes instances that do not allow for rebuild. The pain has been too deep and too damaging and while forgiveness frees you, it doesn’t negate the risk of a rebuild. God can still use those relationships. Sometimes we only imagine things the way we knew them before forgiveness. God can do more. He can restore in a new way. Freedom in him, free of the rage and bitterness and guilt, will have its own beauty. Different? Maybe. Still beautiful in his time.

Today, I am thankful for forgiveness. To those who have forgiven me—thank you for giving me a second chance. To those who I have forgiven—I love what God has done and is doing in us. To God who has forgiven me and keeps forgiving me over and over each day—thank you.

What are you thankful for today?

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