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Forgiveness: A Tall Order

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Matthew 6:12 St. Joseph’s Edition

forgiveness a tall orderForgiveness is a tall order.

Years ago, my mother gave my family a generous financial gift. As a low-vision sufferer, she wanted to thank us for caring for her for ten years. My adopted sister, who had miraculously sobered up some years before and became a successful speaker, ambushed us with a public smear campaign and false accusations of stealing money.

As a child, I had been afraid of my adopted sister, but as adults, we had been close for two decades. She was smart, funny, and talented. So, we were blindsided when she turned on us.

During this tornado, I had too much anxiety to eat adequately. My mother was hurt by this too and lost weight she could not afford to lose. Our three daughters were puzzled that their doting aunt could trash our entire family this way.

One day, with my mind whirling and twirling in the grocery store, I spotted a forgiveness book in the Hallmark aisle. God is so creative. He always astounds me. That book changed my life.

If I claim to be a Christian, I must figure out how to forgive fully, no matter what. Jesus calls us to forgive as He forgives us—seventy times seven times daily if needed.

But how on earth can I do that? I know this is impossible, but I’ve learned I can draw on God’s unlimited power anytime. I humbly remember I need the Lord’s forgiveness too. I’m puzzled that He is patient with me and loves me unconditionally anyway.

Could I love my adopted sister from afar? Could I let go of the hurt and pray for her every day, even with clenched teeth? Yes, but only with divine assistance.

I think of Jesus, beaten, bloodied, and hanging on the cross, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He exemplified radical love for the ages. We can dip into this power every day. We can step into another’s shoes and borrow Jesus’ compassion for that person. He is our forgiving Friend and helps us find a way to forgive others.

Make it your goal to learn to forgive like Jesus. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and fancycrave1.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


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Theresa Siller

Theresa Siller has been a teacher of all ages for thirty-seven years. She has been published in Guideposts, Dance Studio Life, and The Magnolia Review Literary Journal. Her column, “Rising Stars,” appeared in the Cape Coral Breeze Newspaper. She has written five books, all listed on Amazon. She is grateful to God for her husband, three daughters, and one son-in-law.