Gift Forgiveness

by Ray Reuter on December 12, 2013

ForgivenessOne of my favorite writers is Henri Nouwen. He has a beautiful way of capturing on paper what I often think. He nails it; his words resonate with me. In this season of giving and receiving “gifts” … consider gifting forgiveness.

Forgiveness means that I continually am willing to forgive others for not fulfilling all my needs and desires. Forgiveness says, “I know you love me, but you don’t have to love me unconditionally, because only God can do that.” I too must ask forgiveness for not being able to fulfill other people’s total needs, for no human being can do that.

I often am challenged with the pain and disappointment of not being good enough, of being inadequate, of falling short. Even when people acknowledge and appreciate me, feelings of uselessness and meaninglessness lurk beneath. I’m sure you can relate because we all are wounded.

You and I want and seek a level of love, affirmation, approval, acceptance from others that only God can give. Henri Nouwen states bluntly, “If we want other people to give us something that only God can give, we are guilty of idolatry.”

The truth is that our humanness limits our ability to give the level of love and acceptance we all crave and desire. And this awareness calls for forgiveness … to continually forgive others (spouse, children, parents, clients, customers, boss, co-workers, political leaders, priests / pastors)  for not giving us everything we want. Only God can do that because only God’s love is unlimited.

So as you consider what to give to others as a gift this year, include on your list the gift of forgiving them for not being God.


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