The key to being in a happy marriage is to never mess up. Make solid decisions, always agree with each other, and be sure to be completely selfless. I’m actually working on a book about how to have a perfect message. It’s called “Things That Don’t Exist.”
Do you know why I am so happily married? It is because my wife is the most forgiving person I have ever met. I am the epitome of a sitcom husband. I would live in the doghouse if my wife was not so forgiving, and I am incredibly thankful for that.
Forgiveness may be the most underrated gift of all time. Sure, we are thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness (or at least we say that we are). But for some reason, we make person to person forgiveness so much more complex than it needs to be.
When Peter asked Jesus if we should forgive our neighbor seven times, Jesus replied that we should forgive them as many as seventy times seven (that’s 490 for you non-math kids…and some translations actually say seventy seven). However, I get the feeling that Jesus was not actually referring to a numerical limit of times we should offer forgiveness. I believe if Peter had suggested we forgive a million times, Jesus would have told him to forgive a million bajillion times.
Forgiveness releases you from debt (monetary or in some cases a life debt, like Chewbacca). It gives you the peace of mind and soul that allows you to move forward from the transgressions that are holding you back. It makes the problems of the past insignificant, and the future possibilities seem more attainable. Receiving forgiveness provides freedom in a way that nothing else can.
On the flipside, forgiving someone else can bring peace and joy to a painful situation. We view forgiveness as primarily a gift to the person being forgiven, and that is completely true. However, similar to when we give thanks, forgiving someone else can bring us a sense of joy and contentment that we did not even know we were missing. Holding a grudge against someone can be draining and resentment can hold us back in so many ways.
As I mentioned earlier, we are commanded to forgive freely as we have been forgiven. However, the love and joy that can come from bringing peace to a situation and a relationship are very rewarding. It’s like I always say, to forgive someone is…good.
I realize it can be very difficult to forgive, especially when somebody has hurt you very badly. In fact, I honestly don’t know how I will be able to forgive my friends for dragging me to the midnight showing of The Avengers last night (loved it, by the way). But if forgiveness was easy to give away, it would not be as valuable. As Tom Hanks said in A League of Their Own, “the hard is what makes it great.”
Is there anyone in your life that you need to forgive? You need to get to work on that immediately. You will not regret it.