Can I just be totally honest with you here?  I have written and re-written this blog probably 3 times. I even had a complete draft done that just needed to be spell checked and proofed and when I came back to my computer, it was gone.   At this point I questioned whether or not I should even attempt this subject.  Then our very own Courtney Kacer reminded me that this was surely Satan trying to stop me.  So here I am, writing this again, praying for some peace with this draft and hopefully finalizing something that can be posted. 

Lord, I pray for Your guidance in this series that I cannot shake to write.  I pray for Your wisdom and peace as You lead me in this writing.  Amen.

Forgive(ness).  Is this hard for anyone else besides me?  When I first became a Christian I put this on the backburner for quite some time. 

The Webster Dictionary simply defines this as

“to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) ; to stop blaming (someone) ; to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong) ; to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed).”

Sounds simple enough right? 

Shortly after I truly started following Christ my church had a women’s treat. I had no idea what I was walking into, but was excited to have a “mini vacation”.  I expected some bible reading, speakers who would speak about God, and maybe even meet some other women who were in the same set of mind as me.  I had no idea that God would reveal himself to me in a way that changed my life forever. 

I had an opportunity to speak with one of the speakers.  Her name was Sue.  I had never met her, but she had been going to our church for a long time and was highly respected. When she came to my table and asked if she could sit with me I immediately got nervous.  I couldn’t understand why this women – who had just spoke to all these women – wanted to sit with me.  I know now that God totally ordained that whole situation.  She immediately asked me if I understood what it meant to forgive others.  I was taken aback for sure.  Who was this lady?  And how dare she ask such a personal question? My quick response to her was “yes – of course”, hoping she’d go away and I could continue my mini vacation.  Seeing that my bible was on the table she asked me to look up Matthew 6:14-15 and read it out loud. 

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matthew 6:14-15

As we picked apart this verse I asked so many questions.  The more she answered, the more questions I had.  The more I understood one thing the more I got convicted about another.  We sat at that table for almost 3 hours – talking, crying, and laughing. It was at this table I truly understood what it meant to forgive and to be forgiven. My take away from this conversation was who had I not forgiven that would prevent me from being forgiven?  Thus began this journey I was on for some time.  It has been almost 10 years since this retreat and to be honest, I’m still on this journey of forgive(ness). 

I found out later, because Sue and I became very close friends, that God nudged her big time to speak to me all weekend.  She said she fought it because after she spoke she was exhausted and truly wanted to rest, but God wouldn’t let it go.  I’m thankful she was obedient and came to sit with me. 

So here I am – about to share a piece of myself about forgiving others and being forgiven.  I pray you join me as we venture into why this is so important to God and why it should be so important to us.

I leave you with this last thought before I sign off this week. 

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves.  Otherwise it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.” – Letters of C.S. Lewis (19 April 1951), p. 230

Until next time my friends, Be Blessed – INDEED!!

Debbie L. Wayns