Step 1 Learn of Him
Can forgiveness heal us?
Victoria Ruvolo was driving home from a concert when a frozen turkey smashed through her windshield and shattered her face. Victoria nearly died—it took ten hours of surgery, four titanium plates, and a wire mesh to rebuild her face. Ryan Cushing, one teen in a car full of bored teens, had thrown the frozen turkey out his car window, just for kicks. That thoughtless act changed both their lives forever.
Most victims of a life-shattering act like this would clamor for justice for the person who hurt them. Incredibly, Victoria pled for mercy and a short sentence. Read more of her story at theforgivenessproject.com/stories/victoria-ruvolo/
Jesus forgave those who had wronged him. In Matthew 6:12, He said, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” If Jesus could forgive the people who betrayed, tortured, and crucified Him, we can learn to forgive—including ourselves.
Forgiveness does NOT mean removing the consequences of actions. Forgiveness also does NOT mean allowing an offender to continue harming you. If you are being harmed, get help, and get safe.*
Studies show that forgiveness can boost self-esteem, improve heart health, and even lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression. While the person who has wronged us may never choose to change, our forgiveness of them transforms our hearts. Forgiving others is the path to finding our own peace.
Forgiveness is a gift you, in partnership with Christ, give yourself. Let’s give ourselves the gift of better self-esteem, emotional balance, and a healthy heart by learning to forgive.
* Do not tolerate abuse. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or thehotline.org
Step 2 Acting on FORGIVENESS
As you work on learning from Christ how to forgive, remember that you only need to try your best and make small improvements daily—God’s grace will do the rest.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.