Today (and everyday), I'm thankful for forgiveness. First, I'm thankful for Jesus, who sacrificed Himself so that my sins could be forgiven. And because of his forgiveness, I can (and must!) forgive others. It's obvious from observing my 4 year old, that from a very young age, we have a hard time forgiving and asking forgiveness. We don't like meeting the level of humility it takes to forgive or to ask forgiveness. It's not fun to admit we are wrong or to cast aside our anger at someone else. However, Jesus says that if we don't forgive others, He cannot forgive us.
I love this passage in Romans: "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.…" (5:6-8)
Jesus died for us--to forgive us--while we were still sinners! He gave Himself--all of Himself. After that kind of gift, how could we not die to ourselves to forgive others.
One time, Peter came up to Jesus and asked how many times we should forgive someone who sins against us. He said, "Should we forgive them seven times?" Sometimes, there are people in our lives who mistreat us, disrespect us, offend us, or hurt our feelings again and again and again. Jesus replied, "Not seven times, but seventy times seven" (which basically means infinity). Now, this doesn't mean we have to lay down and let someone abuse us, but it does mean that we don't carry a grudge around and grow bitter. I'm preaching to myself, people. I know forgiveness is tough!
So, I am thankful for God's forgiveness, which wipes my slate clean and gives me the strength to forgive other people. God casts our sins as far as the east is from the west; He never throws them in our face or says, "Well, I guess I can forgive you, but...." As soon as we repent, the sin is gone.
God, thank You for Your forgiveness. And help me to forgive as purely and completely as You.