Column Post by Lakin Easterling
Everyone has much to say about forgiveness. What actually counts as forgiveness, what qualifies someone for forgiveness, how many times and how often you should bestow forgiveness (which is usually a smaller number than how many times forgiveness should be bestowed on YOU).
It’s such a minefield, that one little word. Because if we choose to wield it, utilize it, and take it as we pass “Go”, it’s going to mean an undoing of all the self and perception we have so carefully constructed.
Forgiveness requires the move from grasping all for your own glory, into a vessel that sails undaunted towards the gain of glory for Someone you love.
Forgiveness is a disposition to give up your claim to be the wounded one, your claim to be perfect, your claim to be right, all the resentment you harbor in your soul.
Forgiveness is a way of life.
It happens to us all, forgiveness, usually starting with something small: we need to be forgiven for taking a cookie before dinner, or hitting Daddy instead of listening to what he asked, or biting Brother or Sister. But the point is it doesn’t matter how small it starts, just that it starts. And do you see where it starts?
It starts with you needing to be forgiven. You are not born in the right, with the whole world having wronged you; you are a transgressor, a taker, a one-way street from the beginning. We all are. And, usually, the first person you need to learn to forgive is yourself.
“’And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” ~Mark 12:30-31 NLT
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” ~Matthew 7:3, ESV
Do you see the connection here? When you spend your time resenting others for the wrongs they’ve done you, waiting and turning sour with every minute that passes and doesn’t see them running to your feet for forgiveness, you miss out on an important underlying issue: the first person you learn to relate to is yourself. The first person you are disappointed in, disgusted with, angered by. The hidden soil of the heart produces fruit that we see as normal and healthy, but is truly poisoned.
If we can’t learn to forgive ourselves, how can we be capable of forgiving others?
If God was able to forgive us before we were even born, if He can love us so greatly as to take away all of our shame with His blood, how can we not learn to love the very thing He prizes most?
We have to learn to love ourselves, friends. Every curve and curl and finger and heartbeat and mistake. God absolutely, irrevocably does.
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Lakin Easterling is a wife, mother, writer, and avid reader. She spends her days chasing her toddler, Belle, and conversing with the elderly who are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. She loves surprise coffee dates with her husband Luke, texting novels to her best friend, Laura Hyers, and being a college student. She dreams about being brave enough to get a tattoo, and believes in the healing power of a good cup of coffee. Her favorite nail polish is Sail Away by Milani. She blogs at http://threadingsymphonies.wordpress.com.
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