Sunday, August 10, 2008

Seventy Times Seven

"A spirit of forgiveness and an attitude of love and compassion toward those who may have wronged us is of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ." - Gordon B. Hinckley

To forgive is a divine attribute. It is to pardon or excuse someone from blame for an offense or misdeed. The scriptures refer to forgiveness in two ways. The Lord commands us to repent of our sins and seek His forgiveness. He also commands us to forgive those who offend or hurt us.

Besides seeking forgiveness from our Father in Heaven, there are two other types of forgiveness; the first is to forgive others and the second is to forgive ourselves.

To forgive others doesn't mean that we are saying that it's all right that someone hurt us. It just means that we aren't going to be consumed by the perceived injustice. We will learn from the experience and, in the future, will be kinder to others because we know what it's like to have someone be unkind to us.

"Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves." -Sidney and Suzanne Simon-

"There is no peace in reflecting on the pain of old wounds." -Gordon B. Hinckley-

Forgiving ourselves can sometimes be harder than forgiving others. We can't believe that we did something so stupid, or behaved so badly, and wonder why we can't manage to learn a simple lesson and stop repeating bad choices.

"God's forgiveness is often nullified because the sinner does not forgive himself. What good does it do for God to blot our evil from His mind, if we continue to let it dominate our thinking by rerunning it in our own?" -Sterling W. Sill-

Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive someone who sinned against him. Jesus reply was "seventy times seven." If we forgive others "seventy times seven," should we not do the same for ourselves?

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