Starting off 2011 with forgiveness

Ah … 2011! Here we go again into another new year. When I think of all I have done and learned in 2010, I am excited to think of what an amazing opportunity I have before me to do it all bigger and better next year. Hopefully this time with more wisdom, grace, forgiveness, and understanding of who God is and how broken I am in my own strength.

Last year I felt like I had a jet pack strapped to my back every day.  Looking forward, I hope this pack comes off and my life slows down so that I can enjoy each and every moment I have here on earth.

This year I want to love more, forgive more, and take more time with my family, friends, and employees.

Speaking of forgiveness, I was recently forgiven of a debt that was wearing heavily on my heart each month. This burden caused me pain every time I thought about it.  As the months passed by, the pain of this debt increased because I was not able to keep my word.  When my debt was forgiven, I think I actually grew an inch from the weight being lifted off my shoulders.  The power of forgiveness and the release of a debt I owed but couldn’t pay was incredible.  Something everyone should experience giving and receiving.

If you are anything like me and have had a huge weight on your shoulders that you couldn’t take off, you know that no matter how good your intentions are things can still be out of your control and those good intentions fail.  I wanted to keep my promise.  I wanted to do the right thing, but it just couldn’t be done.  I deserved to suffer the consequences of a debt unpaid.  I was given mercy and freedom instead.  I hope you also may experience the relief that comes from being forgiven, and the blessing that comes from forgiving those who are indebted to you.

In reflection, I am thankful for the valuable lesson in forgiveness.  I was taught about the grace God gives us to grow in wisdom through experience.  Because of the mistakes I have made and the trials I have gone through, I now know how to do things better the next time. Hopefully, with this wisdom I can make good decisions in the future and quickly forgive others as I have been forgiven.   I also learned how important it is to humbly fall on my knees before my Father and thank Him for His grace and forgiveness. He doesn’t hold our mistakes and failures against us, but lovingly walks us through each experience, teaching us His way and empowering us to change for our good and for His glory.

Because of the level of grace and forgiveness I recently experienced, one of my goals for 2011 is to extend more grace and forgiveness than ever before.  I am not just talking about forgiving financial debts but offenses, hurt feelings and everything else. I know how much grace and forgiveness God has given me but when I actually feel it through others it becomes even more amazing.  As I head into the new year with a much lighter load, I want others to experience the same thing.  I will do whatever I can to make that happen, as much as depends on me.  The Bible says that he who has been forgiven much, loves much.  And in turn forgives much.    I pray you are forgiven much and love much in 2011.

Please share your stories of grace, mercy and forgiveness with us. We’ll publish online or in print.
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