Mark: Dead on. Forgiveness makes life easier. And erodes the bitterness we as humans tend to carry around. Many years ago, I came across an adage that I use/think of a lot. Not sure who it should be attributed to, but here it is: "Forgiveness is like releasing a prisoner and finding out that prisoner is you." I've seen it work in others I've known and in my life, too.

When my daughters were younger, they were in ballet school. The costumer/seamstress had a son that was murdered in his early 20s. His killer was found and sentenced. Several years after, she went to the prison and forgave him. How incredible is that?

In my own life, I've needed to forgive many people, many close to me. And I've needed forgiveness from others. Much forgiveness from many people. And I need forgiveness from you for how I have treated you in the past.

In my most important human-to-human relationship - which today is strained - I've worked hard to forgive. And I've realized many important things about that relationship. I'm ready to make significant changes while maintaining that forgiveness. I wouldn't have been able to forgive in such a way without first realizing how much forgiveness Jesus Christ grants me. I say that not as a way to abuse the grace Christ affords me, but to say that developing a relationship with Jesus Christ has empowered me to forgive in the ways that I need. Do I still struggle with forgiveness in some ways? Yes. Like I said, I need to extend forgiveness to many, each relationship coming with its unique things to work out. And I can always be more Christ-like. And I know Jesus Christ is always there to guide me in those things.

Peace, Brother.

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May 4Liked by Mark Smeby

Everyone needs to read this! Such beautiful expressions of forgiveness. Thank you!

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