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Forgiveness – The Path to Inner Peace and Healing

Forgiveness – The Path to Inner Peace and Healing

You’ve been deeply hurt. Someone has blackened your name. Deserted you. Your mind is churning. You can’t sleep. Like Macbeth, your mind is full of ‘scorpions’. You’re desperate for the poison to stop doing its work, but you’re powerless to block damaging thoughts that are flooding your brain.

How do you find peace? How do you still your mind? How do you heal?


Difficult though it may be, the first step is to take a long, hard look at yourself. Have you ever hurt anyone or gossiped about them? Should you be darting accusations at someone else when you yourself have been guilty of the same thing? If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit your own failings and remember Jesus’ warning about taking the plank out of your own eye before you try to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Consider examples of forgiveness in the Bible.

You only have to read the story of Joseph in Genesis to marvel at the power of forgiveness and how truly healing it is. Despite the fact that his brothers sold him into slavery, he forgave them from the bottom of his heart. His words to his brothers, You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives, (Genesis 50, v.20b), reveal how completely he had forgiven them. What an inspiring example of the power of forgiveness.

Look to Jesus

The next step is to look at Jesus himself. Consider how His own family didn’t believe in Him, how all His disciples abandoned Him when He was arrested, and how His name was maligned. He was even accused by the religious leaders of casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub. Yet Jesus remained dignified; He spoke truth to power, prayed for His enemies and in His great love for sinners, He even gave His life for them in the most sacrificial act that has ever been performed in the history of the world, dying on the cross to shield them from God’s wrath and taking the punishment for their sins. He taught His disciples to pray for their enemies, too. And as He was hanging on the cross in agony, He cried out, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” What an inspiration and what an example to model.

Think about Jesus’ teaching about forgiveness.

Jesus taught his disciples to forgive those who had wronged them, even as much as seventy-seven times. He was emphasising how generously we should forgive others, but he also warned his disciples that if they didn’t forgive their brothers, neither would His Father forgive them. An extremely sobering thought.

The path to forgiveness

Of course, forgiveness is hard, sometimes almost impossible if we’ve been hurt deeply enough and still bear the scars. But no one could even come close to being hurt as much as Jesus was: betrayed by one of His closest companions, abandoned by all his disciples when He needed them most, brutally scourged and crucified by mocking, ruthless, sinful people. Yet He showed all of us His incredible love and His vast capacity for forgiveness.

So if we try to follow Jesus’ example, we’ll feel our heavy burdens being lifted from our shoulders. When we forgive from our hearts those who have wronged us, we’ll feel liberated. There’ll be a lightness in our step and ‘peace like a river’ flowing through our souls. Unburdened and free from resentment, we’ll find the great gift of forgiveness is a balm not only to our souls but also to the souls of the people who have hurt us. If they could be freed from their guilty feelings, they could be liberated, too.

What a worthwhile journey it is to embark on the hard road to forgiveness. Wonderfully, you’ll experience deep inner peace and healing. No more restless, damaging thoughts. Peaceful sleep. Balm for your soul. May you be blessed as you walk with Jesus on this difficult but restorative road.

Empower yourself on your journey of forgiveness by exploring the following must-read blogs:

Breath of God by Gillian Leggat
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