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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

The Fragrance of Forgiveness

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. 
Ephesians 4:32

Some things like fresh herbs and garlic cloves only release their potent essence when crushed. The sweet fragrance of forgiveness has been powerful when I’ve been crushed. There have many opportunities for me to learn the process of forgiveness, when it seemed utterly impossible to even consider doing so.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” - Mark Twain

Can you recall the last time you were crushed by someone’s harsh words or by someone’s betrayal, physical abuse, or even by silent neglect? Offenses that call for forgiveness, but so much easier said than done, right?

One of the first things that started my emotional healing process as an adult, was learning to understand what real forgiveness is, how to give it and how to receive it. Part of my recovery was to identify those in my life who needed my forgiveness and then choose, in spite of every feeling not to, to release each person from the right I believed was mine to punish them.

The sweet fragrance of forgiveness in my life has been evident in these ways:
  • Becoming more of a victor than a victim
  • Learning to trust God enough to allow Him to have His way with the person who has hurt me
  • Growing in being able to receive God’s forgiveness
  • Purposing to forgive myself for the wrongs I’ve committed, believing that if I don’t, I’m saying that Jesus died in vain
  • Praying for the good of a dear friend who abandoned me during a time of great need

Lord, I admit I have been very slow to forgive those who have hurt me deeply. Even when I don’t feel like it may I choose by an act of my will to let go of my legitimate right to have my offenders punished. I want to be set free from the prison of unforgiveness.

Karen Sims

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