Finding Peace through the Path of Forgiveness
Imagine being on a lengthy road trip with an old-fashioned paper map as your only guide, and every time you take a wrong turn, you mark it with a permanent red ink. Over time, the map becomes so cluttered with red marks that you can no longer see the path clearly. Isn’t this how our hearts may feel when cluttered and laden with resentment and un-forgiveness?
I invite you to ponder, what is the quality of our journey when we carry such heavy burdens?
“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:15)
This scripture invites us to forgive others as a fundamental step towards receiving God’s forgiveness. In fact, it is a commandment to forgive everyone, and leave the judgment to Christ. But how can we take this step, especially when it feels impossible? The answer lies in understanding the essence of forgiveness.
Contrary to popular belief, forgiveness is not about condoning wrong actions, but it is about liberating ourselves from the weight of bitterness, anger, and resentment.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemy.” – Nelson Mandela
Consider Alma the Younger from the Book of Mormon. He was once a “very wicked and an idolatrous man” (Mosiah 27:8). But when he chose repentance, he was not only forgiven by God, but also by those he had previously sought to destroy. His people didn’t hold onto their resentment. They allowed Alma the space to change and grow. The result was a powerful leader who brought many to the gospel.
So let’s reflect on our own lives. Is there someone we need to forgive? Maybe it’s a co-worker who made an unkind remark, or perhaps it’s a family member with whom we’ve had a falling out. Or it might be that we need to forgive ourselves for past mistakes.
Remember, each mark of red ink we erase from our hearts’ map makes our journey toward Christ a little bit clearer. In fact, the more you forgive, the more you feel Christ is near you as he walks with you down the straight and narrow path. Forgiveness might not come easily, or quickly, but it is a path worth treading, not just for those who have offended us, but but for our own peace and spiritual growth.