Nearly a year ago, the issue of forgiveness arose full force in my life. I chose to privately extend forgiveness to 3 women who had repeatedly intentionally hurt me, and I sincerely sought forgiveness from a loved one who I had hurt deeply.

As I dealt with forgiving others and seeking forgiveness and as I dealt with the consequences of my choice to do both, I faced some tough questions and sought guidance. 

I looked to what God’s Word — my personal authority — says on the topic. More specifically, I focused solely on what Jesus Himself said about forgiveness.

Two truths in particular stood out to me: 

Firstforgiveness requires true repentence — sincere remorse, confession, request for forgiveness, and turning away from the sinful behavior.

Second, God forgives us *as* we forgive others. 

The more I have learned and the longer I’ve walked the path of forgiveness, the more my heart hurts for those who

    struggle to forgive 

    have forgiven yet suffer the effects of someone else’s sin

    have asked someone for forgiveness & been refused

    have been forgiven but can’t forgive themselves

I’m no expert on forgiveness (far from it!), but one thing I have learned these past months is that I must be intentional — every single day — to prayerfully examine myself for and, if present, immediately address:

any unconfessed sin for which I need to seek forgiveness

any unforgiveness in my heart toward someone (or myself) 

Forgiveness isn’t always easy. It often isn’t a one-and-done act. But oh, the blessings that flow from forgiving . . . and being forgiven!