Forgiveness {Day 27 of 31}

I see that I am not alone in not keeping up with a daily post this month, where the goal was to write, something, daily. Even the creator of this challenge has said she has no guilt. Ah, that feels good!

Today, I praise God for forgiveness! 

After all, this is the hinge upon which Salvation turns, the essence of what Jesus did for us, the reason that we can be with our Father God when we pass from this life.

But, forgiveness is a two-way street. 

Even though Jesus, the One and Only Begotten Son of God, Lover of our souls, Savior of the world, has secured forgiveness of our sins through the atoning sacrifice of His death on the cross, it doesn't come without strings.

You see, we can't receive this forgiveness, if we withhold forgiveness from another person.

This isn't my idea or interpretation. It's right there in black and white in the Bible, the inspired Word of God:

"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." (Matthew 6:14 NASB).

This is hard. Especially when someone has hurt you and they are not repentant. And maybe they keep hurting you.

I am reading a book, "Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers,"  by Leslie Leyland Fields & Dr. Jill Hubbard.

The first thing in the book is a poem in the introduction titled, "In the Dessert," by Stephen Crane:

"In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter-bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
That sums up the truth that this book contains—when we hold onto unforgiveness, it eats us up. We cannot live healthy, productive lives when we hold onto things that have hurt us. No matter who the offender is or what they have done. 

But it is so hard to let go!

That is why the gift of forgiveness that Jesus gave us is so amazing. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us so that we can enjoy eternal life with our Father God. 

Forgiveness isn't easy; but it is essential, if we want to be with Jesus some day.  Nothing someone does to us is worth throwing that away.