God’s mercy is precious. But forgiveness is the key that unlocks its floodgates. In praying for his enemies from the cross, Jesus not only gives us the example of how we should regard those who may have wronged us, but also demonstrates that no person is beyond the reach of prayer.
If our hearts are to be truly moved by mercy and forgiveness then we will necessarily desire to do something good and loving about it. Each of us is called to change the world we inhabit in some way, and for most of us that means in small acts of love, mercy and forgiveness.
We begin in our homes with our families and we extend those acts of love to our friends, neighbours, work colleagues, and wider communities. Mercy and forgiveness is the ready willingness to help anyone in need, especially in need of mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, acceptance, care and love.
Dedicating our life to forgiveness and mercy is a call for all of us to become missionaries of forgiveness and mercy in a world where there is so much that needs healing and cries out for mercy and forgiveness. In every life there are moments of darkness and in some cases much sadness.
And so today as I write this thought although our world will never be the same again and it is very hard at times and has taken me awhile to say the following, is that, "I forgive anyone who has ever done anything wrong or hurtful to me or any of my family and I will remember them in my prayers that they can live a better more caring life and I hope and pray that I can be forgiven for any wrong or hurt I may have caused intentionally or unintentionally to anyone and also live a more loving and caring life."
Thought for the week
As your thought for the week, let's ask ourselves: Is there anyone I need to forgive? Am I harbouring any grudges?
Have I bitterness of resentment in my heart towards any person? Have I ever tried asking God to help me forgive those who have hurt me so deeply? Forgiving others doesn't mean we have to forget, condone or excuse what they have done. Some hurts we will carry with us always, but if we decide to forgive, we will not let those hurts fester within us. We will free ourselves of being weighed down by resentment, bitterness, the desire for revenge, those things that can eat away at us and enslave us.
Today let's invite the Holy Spirit to work through us to bring about a desire to forgive those who have wronged us. The following favourite prayer of mine might help. "Lord, I thank You that You are so merciful and forgiving, slow to anger and quick to forgive. I want to be able to forgive, but sometimes I just find it so difficult. I carry the pain of the hurts inflicted upon me around with me and when I think of those who have hurt me in my life, negative thoughts about them still come to the surface, even when I believe I have forgiven them. Lord, today I want to make the decision to forgive, but I need Your Help. Send Your Spirit upon me, to help me forgive and to free me from any negative thoughts I am carrying in my heart towards those who have wronged me. I know what it is like to need forgiveness, let me have generosity of spirit in forgiving others.
Lord, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" are words I pray often. Help me to mean those words. Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful and forgiving, so that I will never be suspicious or judge by appearances, but always look for what is beautiful in my neighbours’ souls and be of help to them; that my ears maybe merciful and forgiving, so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs, and not indifferent to their pains and complaints; that my tongue may be merciful and forgiving, so that I will never speak badly of others, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all; that my hands may be merciful, forgiving and full of good deeds; that my feet may be merciful and forgiving, so that I will hasten to help my neighbour, despite my own fatigue and weariness; that my heart may be merciful and forgiving, so that I myself will share in all the sufferings of my neighbour.
As you have been fed, go to feed the hungry. As you have been set free, go to set free those imprisoned by guilt and sin, brokenness and pain. As you have been received – give. As you have heard – proclaim. As you have been forgiven - forgive. And may the blessing which you have received from the Creator be always with you. Let me forgive so that I too may be forgiven.
Thank you Lord for your mercy.
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