From “Essay on Forgiveness” by C. S. Lewis:
To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single person great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life—-to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son—-how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say our prayers each night “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.” We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves.”
Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
How does resentment keep you from experiencing the abundant life that Jesus promised? Could the “thief” be stealing and destroying part of you through the anger and bitterness that binds your heart? Are you, in fact, refusing God’s mercy when you refuse to forgive those who wrong you?
Let us pray:
Lord God, we are all imperfect beings, sometimes bossing, bullying, nagging, being selfish or deceitful. Yet you forgive us, unreservedly. Fill us with your grace so that it may overflow to all people. We pray in the name of the one who died for our sins, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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