Forgiveness.

It is probably the easiest thing in the world to accept:  “I forgive you.”  Doesn’t it just feel good to hear someone say it?  Doesn’t it act as a soothing balm to a soul sometimes battered with shame, guilt, and remorse?  Of course it does.

But what about when we are called to bestow that balm upon another?  “I forgive you.”    Not quite as easy, when the person these words are spoken to has hurt us, betrayed us, or lied to us.  Not as easy, when the person on the receiving end of that forgiveness may not even think that she NEEDS forgiveness.

Am I forgiven?  Yes, absolutely.  There is no question in my mind that I have been forgiven for my sins – for the lies I’ve told, the people I’ve hurt, and the friends I’ve betrayed.

I AM FORGIVEN.

I am grateful and blessed to be living out my second chance life.  God saved me from myself and a lifetime of resentment, anger, mistrust, and lies and He gave me this beautiful life I live now, full of family, friends, happiness, and love.

But still…when I am confronted with a need in my life to forgive someone else, sometimes I balk.  I feel that the wrong done to me outweighs the wrong-doers deserving of a second chance. I withhold my forgiveness and use it as a shield, to keep from being hurt again.  Fair?  Of course not.

If I were being fair, I would remember my own second chance and realize that if God could forgive ME for the ugliness of my life before Him, then surely I can forgive my friend/family member/co-worker for wrong she has done to me.

It’s difficult at times, of course, but second chances aren’t about it being easy.  Giving second chances to those who hurt us is about grace and love and forgiveness and the ability to show the world what Jesus looks like, through our own lives.

Casey Anthony #neverbeyond

People of the Second Chance has launched a 25-week visual poster campaign: “…25 posters representing well known historical, current and fictional characters who are believed to have harmed society.”  The idea is to get us thinking about grace, forgiveness, and the path to a second chance.  And to help us answer the question:

Who would you give a second chance?  Casey Anthony?  The co-worker who lied to the boss to get ahead over you?  The relative that betrayed your trust?

Yourself?

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