Many times I have written about forgiveness in this column, but  when I pick up my iPad to write next week’s column that word, many times, is foremost in my mind.

To me forgiveness is one of our most important words. How can we claim to be a Christian yet have no forgiveness in our hearts? You cannot. If you don’t forgive you won’t be forgiven, and none of us want that. It is so easy to have love in our hearts. Just relax and let the love flow. Such a wonderful state of mind when you have forgiveness and compassion in your heart. We have all, at one time or another, done things to others that would be considered unforgivable, so why shouldn’t we forgive those who have done the same thing to us? I tell you, it will free your soul and let you have unencumbered happiness. We all have that one thing that eats at us and just won’t let us be. There are people we vow never to forgive. There is hatred in our hearts for that person, but if one day you wake and realize what a sin it is to hold grudges and hatred for someone, and you decide you don’t want to carry these heavy saddlebags any longer, just sit down and have a talk with the Lord. Ask  Him to forgive us for our sinful thinking, and right then, forgive that person as God forgives us. You will feel a wagon-load of burdens lifted from your heart. Nobody can do enough to us to warrant hatred. We must keep hate out of our hearts and replace it with forgiveness and the love of our Father. Sometimes it takes a long time to do this. There may be a little nagging voice telling us not to, they don’t deserve it, but you must do it anyway. True, there are those who can do the unforgivable thing to us, but we must forgive anyway. For deep down in that person’s soul is some good thing struggling to get out. We can help bring that good thing to the surface by showing the perpetrator compassion instead of hatred. There is no better feeling than to forgive those who have done us harm. It frees you to love and be happy again. No sin is worth hatred. Just avoid that person if you cannot stand to be around them any more. Mark them off your list if you think it is hopeless, but don’t hate them. I can put my arms around my worst enemy and forgive them. I’ll admit some take longer than others, but resentment is what I feel, not hate. I don’t want God to hate me, so therefore I’m not going to hate one of His children. I will admit there are a few people I will never be friends with again, but I don’t hate them. I just don’t need them in my life taking my peace and joy. If you cannot have a peaceful friendship with someone it is best to just get away. No one is worth taking peace and joy from our lives. Think about it. 

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