As Thanksgiving Day is only a week away, I wanted to share all the wonderful blessings that I’m thankful for. Being thankful is much easier than forgiving, but I felt the need to write about both, because many times they come hand in hand.
The definition by http://www.dictionary.com of the word forgive, is to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); to absolve or to give up all claim or account of; remit(a debt, obligation, etc.) The definition by the same website, for thanksgiving is the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors, especially to God. The definition of the root word, to thank, is to express gratitude, appreciation or acknowledgement to.
I’m thankful for many things, but the number one, is Jesus Christ and his love for me. He died a horrible death on a cross, for my sins, not for his, because Jesus was without sin and therefore not needing forgiveness himself, took on all of our sins and died, so that we could be forgiven. He was the ultimate sacrifice for all of our sins.
Forgiveness is more about the condition of our own heart, because we do ourselves a dishonor by not forgiving. If you’ve ever held a grudge against someone that has done something against you, you know that it hurts your heart and stays with you, much more than it hurts the person you need to forgive. In the Bible (NIV), in Ephesians 4:32, it states, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus said, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” The words, in these verses, make it very clear how important it is to forgive. Whenever I have a difficult time forgiving someone, I remember these verses and I recall, Corrie Ten Boom’s personal story of her forgiveness to the former Ravensbruck camp guard, who had been known as one of the cruelest. She said, “she was reluctant to forgive him, so she prayed that she would be able to . She wrote: “For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensly as I did then.”
Even though we are living in very difficult times, let’s remember this Thanksgiving, to give thanks and forgiveness.