A Seed of Forgiveness

This morning I was looking through pictures of a family gathering we had two weeks ago. I got to a picture of our family sitting around my parents large dining room table, and I paused. I stared at the face of each of my children, siblings, parents, nephews, nieces, husband; my gratitude for the whole gang washed over me like a sweet spring of joy, love and happiness. When I think of all the people in my life including friends and loved ones, I must say that I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for each and every one.  

With family, friends and loved one’s offense is simply inevitable. I am sure you can sit here and think of one, ten, a hundred offenses done to you by a friend, family or loved one. I can, and I have had to forgive much as they have had to forgive me of much. One thing I have learned at an early age, is that forgiveness keeps our hearts pure for the Lord and when we are pure, we can see people through a lens that God specifically gives us. We can see them in love without all the mess. I felt prompted to write this today for no other reason than to encourage unity. As I read the stories of the Bible, forgiveness is an important topic that is written about again and again. Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit and sold him to slavery, but he forgave them and let them live in his palace; his heart remained pure. Jesus had to teach Peter to forgive seventy-times-seven times. David had to forgive Saul for wanting to kill him. This is just a few examples of forgiveness. 

The number one reason of all to forgive is simply because we have been forgiven. Jesus doesn’t have to forgive us for all the sins we have committed, but he chooses to forgive us again and again day after day. Because of this, we are not entitled to hold bitterness as hard as it can be. 

We have all heard the phrase forgive and forget, and I believe forgiveness doesn’t have anything to do with the memory of the hurt. We can’t always forget, but we can have freedom and peace of the forgiveness part. I believe forgiveness is like a seed of a tree. When there has been something wronged to you, you start by planting that seed of forgiveness in the ground. After you plant it, you think, “hmmm this is harder than I think because I do not know if I truly forgave, for I see nothing and still feel bitterness.” This is when that seed needs a little water, sun and soil to nurture it. For example, you take steps sometimes that will need a little time for it to take root. One step I took was because of a wise pastor that preached about this one Sunday morning. He said, we are not the Judge, God is and if you are holding onto bitterness, write it all down, give it to God, and let Him be the rightful judge that He is. After that message, I took a piece of paper and jotted down names and things that I needed to forgive. I turned it into a paper airplane, went to a field on a small hill and sent that baby to the wind and said, “here God, I don’t want to carry this anymore, you can be the judge.” Wow! what freedom I felt in that moment and to know that my hurts were no longer in my arms to carry, but His. This would be an example of me watering the seed, it was another great step of forgiveness. We can also water the seeds with scripture about forgiveness. We can read it, write it, post it and meditate on it. Sometimes, we need to share the hurt feeling and bitterness; to bring it to the light and not let Satan have authority with it in our lives. We can pray and pray some more and trust in His perfect timing that we will celebrate a great harvest of forgiveness through the journey He takes us on.

Through the journey, I have finally started seeing my own seeds of forgiveness sprout, grow and flourish. I continue to plant the seeds as some have grown and others still need more time, but the path of forgiveness is beautiful in itself. Family, friends, and people in our lives are precious in His sight, let your seed of forgiveness grow and keep your relationships, it’s worth it in the end. 

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

Published by Emily Rodewald

Emily is a writer and worship leader. She has written several worship songs, she is a co-author or two children's books and has begun writing about the light of Jesus in her blog at www.emilyrodewald.com. She is a co-founder of Parallel Ministries and a mom of two boys, George and Oliver. She has been married for 13 years to the man of her dreams, Daniel. She and her family live in beautiful Montana where they enjoy taking the boys fishing, going on adventures, and renovating their new home.

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