Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which means that the holiday season is in full swing.
Many people will be surrounded by their families. And if you’re not, that’s okay too. You are not alone. God sees you. He is with you. He is for you, and He loves you.
To quote Leo Tolstoy: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Every family, whether happy or unhappy, has its “stuff.”
That “stuff” can include long-kept secrets, trauma, betrayal, dysfunction, disrespect, drama, pain, and people that you don’t like and wouldn’t talk to if you didn’t share DNA etc.
I don’t know which of these applies to your family, but I want to tell you that before you lay eyes on anyone or speak to a single soul, you can choose to forgive.
When you forgive, you choose to lay aside the anger, resentment, debt, and desire for revenge against a person for what they have done to you–even if they don’t deserve it.
Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior or proclaim that what they did was okay. It wasn’t okay. It’s not okay.
However, forgiveness allows us to release that person and the situation to God–believing what Paul declared in Romans 12:19:
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
God will bring justice.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the difficult conversation can’t happen. It can. Be led by the Holy Spirit and speak the truth in love.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the person who harmed you has to have access to you or be in your life. You can forgive someone and cut all contact. Use wisdom.
Ultimately, forgiveness cuts bitterness at its root and prevents it from poisoning everything in your life. It gives you room to receive the healing and restoration that God can bring to the relationship and situation.
Most importantly, when you forgive, God will forgive you.
“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” ( Matthew 6:15).
As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been forgiven by God and reconciled to Him. Because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are able to receive forgiveness and remission of our sins and the gift of salvation.
We didn’t earn or deserve God’s forgiveness but He gave it to us anyway. Even now, when we sin against God, we can confess our sins and He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Because God has forgiven us, we must forgive others.
Listen, God knows what has been done to you. He knows your pain. He knows that forgiveness is a difficult process. However, God never calls us to do something that He will not empower us to do.
No matter what has happened or who did it, you can forgive. Ask the Lord to help you. He will.
Be encouraged! You are loved! ❤️
Oh, Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂