Have you ever known someone who can paint pictures with words? Esther has been given this talent. She shares it with us as today’s guest blogger. And don’t forget to scroll down and see if you are one of last week’s giveaway winners!
I hit my knees and the tears came uncontrollably. Seventy times seven seemed so long ago…not that I was counting, because I wasn’t…I was just simply done.
Still we’re commanded to forgive. This commandment, this submission, this turning of the other cheek baffles the laws of justice and can leave one screaming, “unfair!”
It is a fierce commandment, our own salvation depends on it. “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. … For, if ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not … neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”
Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, but a source of strength…love at it’s finest, and that is powerful. Forgiveness awakens divinity deep inside, reminding us our our individual worth in the sight of our Father.
I had been shorted so many times; at first I demanded payment and when that didn’t work I had tried and tried to make up the difference myself…and now I was flat broke. In that humble state I began to feel his hands lift my chin and hear His voice as He reminded me of promises I knew He would keep.
What does forgiveness look like in a marriage anyway…in a family?
I know what it’s not. It’s not looking the other way or ignoring. It’s not putting on your Sunday face as you walk into church. It’s not living in pain or fear.
Forgiveness doesn’t require us to go unpaid, only to accept payment from another source. Since all sins have already been paid for…at a horrible cost…by one greater than us all, we just need to readdress the invoice, get down on our knees to accept payment, and acknowledge the debt as paid in full.
In a marriage and family there is only one thing more important. President David O. McKay said, “Every principle and ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ is significant and important … , but there is none more essential to the salvation of the human family than the divine and eternally operative principle [of] repentance”. Just as repenting and receiving forgiveness from Savior allows us to be one with Him, giving and receiving forgiveness with our family allows us to be one with them.
A little at a time I began to accept His payments. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” I took a big bite, wiped my tears and continued to feast. With my own throat quenched, I realized I no longer had need to demand or feel slighted by the actions of others. Instead of being burdened I had strength to build my home into what it should be. Instead of being offended, I could offer a soft shoulder or circled arms. That has made all the difference.
Each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy and to forgive one another. There is a great need for this Christlike attribute in our families, in our marriages,…in our communities, and in our nations.
We will receive the joy of forgiveness in our own lives when we are willing to extend that joy freely to others. Lip service is not enough. We need to purge our hearts and minds of feelings and thoughts of bitterness and let the light and the love of Christ enter in. As a result, the Spirit of the Lord will fill our souls with the joy accompanying divine peace of conscience (see Mosiah 4:2–3). (Elder dieter f. Uchtdorf, Ensign, May, 2001)
Hi, I’m Esther. I live with my husband and four kids in a little ol’ home that falls apart faster than we can fix it. I love running in the early morning, cooking as a science experiment, hiking through the mountains, getting lost in my garden and writing when it’s too cold to do anything else….add my family to the mix and I am eternally happy. I blog at Outward Expression.