Staring at the screen thinking of what words to make a permanent stamp online, I see the cursor blinking back at me on a white blank page. I think to myself, this is what forgiveness must look like, a blank page with a cursor ready to rewrite the future. So why is it so hard to forgive one another, to give a pardon to the past and the opportunity to move forward? I think it’s hard because we often don’t see a blank page, but rather the past scribbled, etched, ink smudged from past hurts, sins, and guilt on the pages of our life. Pain may keep us from forgiving another and guilt may keep us from forgiving ourselves. We become stuck in pressing the delete button to wipe it clean and instead save it to remind us that we don’t deserve to give or receive forgiveness.
God forgave us of our sins and wiped our page clean. We didn’t deserve it. But God loved us first and despite our smudges, stains, and sins gave us an opportunity to have a clean slate. And it’s because of this love we have a blank page in which we use our past to learn from and rewrite our future with God’s love written on the pages of our life.
The first step to forgiveness is to accept forgiveness of your sins and believe in God who loves you so much He sent His only son, Jesus to die so that forgiveness may be reality. The second step is to forgive yourself and to learn to love yourself because of your past and how God redeemed your life. And the third step is to know that in our undeserving forgiveness from God that we in turn need to extend that same love and forgiveness to others in our life. The ministry of forgiveness can be a powerful witness that points people to the love of Christ and provides the healing needed to move forward.
We all know people in our life who don’t deserve a second chance or a clean slate, but naturally then we have to realize that we never deserved a clean slate either, but were given one. Who do you need to forgive and give them blank page to rewrite their future?
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa