My dear friend, Jackie Kendall, has written a book called, "Free Yourself to Love". It is a book about forgiveness and it is very good. Jackie knows of what she writes as a survivor of heinous sexual abuse by her father as a child. She writes as one who leads the way out of her own obedience to forgive rather than someone who says "do as I say not as I do".
I just started her book the other day and I already have dog-eared pages that indicate places that stood out to me that I want to go back and copy. One such quote I want to record on paper and in my heart is this...
"It is critical to remember that we are most like Jesus not through our attempts to be perfect, but through our choices to forgive as we have been freely forgiven."
Isn't that where the rubber meets the road? I can look like I might have it all together on the outside, but if I have unforgiveness in my heart then my ability to resemble Jesus fades away. The forgiveness that He has lavished on me is so extravagant that I wonder at the arrogance of myself when I find myself struggling to forgive a wrong committed against me.
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
Lord, I so desire when people look at me that they see Your family resemblance! Help me be a good forgiver as you remind me that I am only offering a small portion of the huge measure I have received from you! Thank You for the gentle way you coax me toward the goal and thank You I can confess and agree with you when I make mistakes and you wipe my slate clean. May I be as generous with that eraser in the lives of others and be willing to offer them a clean slate in our relationship!
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