It’s never too late to forgive…until you are dead

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I have seen this type of thing on FaceBook often over the past few months.

But here’s the deal: It is NEVER TOO LATE TO FORGIVE SOMEONE … UNTIL YOU ARE DEAD!

Even after they are out of your life or dead themselves, you can still forgive those who have hurt you!  Unforgiveness affects you as much or more than it affects the person against whom you are holding a grudge. It eats at your insides. It makes you angry at things which should not make you angry. It can make you a bitter old person long before you are actually old.

It is true that each of us could die at any moment. We all know that. We have experienced that in the unexpected deaths of friends and family. We read about sudden tragic deaths in the news. Just because someone dies does not mean we stop loving them, ever. I will love Andrew until I see him again in heaven.  And then my love will be perfected!  So I will love him eternally!  But loving him does not result in my being sad all the time or depressed because I cannot show him my love. Loving him and others helps me as much as unforgiveness can hurt me.

God knew that it is not just for the other person that we love and forgive when He instructed us to do these things!  Both are for our own good as well.

 

I know that part of what this person is saying is that we should SHOW people that we love them. TELL them we love them and encourage them, and compliment them, and lift them up while we can. We should MAKE AMENDS and ASK FORGIVENESS before that person we harmed is gone. We should TELL someone that we forgive them and free ourselves and them from unforgiveness and bitterness. I agree with all of that.

But I know, too, that we can choose to forgive someone even if we never see or talk to them again. We can let go of the anger, the bitterness, the rage. We can stop thinking about the harm they did to us, or what they said, or what they should have done but did not.

I encourage you to take time today. Pray and ask God to show you who you need to forgive. Ask His forgiveness for holding a grudge. And choose to walk in forgiveness. Walk in grace. Walk in love and patience and kindness and gentleness. Encourage one another, be kind and compassionate to one another. Help others carry their burdens.

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