In mommy life, how often do we hear “Mommy, will you forgive me?” during the course of a week? If I’m training my children to recognize their faults and practice humility, I will hopefully hear this phrase at least a few times a week. Days get busy, children disobey, attitudes flare up and mommies can get frustrated too. I often have to ask my kids for forgiveness for my own attitude. It’s important for us moms to teach our kids by example how to deal with their emotions, identify their wrongs and seek forgiveness to make their relationships right again. But how can we effectively do this?
Don’t Focus on the Fault
When we are hurt, we often only consider the offender’s faults. I think about what that person did to me, how they hurt or disappointed me and how it made me feel. I might even be angry about the wrong. But I often “come around” and I’ll decide to forgive the person, sometimes with selfish motives. Forgiveness can especially be hard when I think about past offenses that truly impacted me. I might even feel renewed anger. I have to remind myself that I forgave that person. But did I really?
Recognize the Problem
I recently was struck by another angle of forgiveness; a hidden side to forgiving that I had never deeply considered before. What if I’m the problem when I try to forgive an offense? What if instead of considering what the other person did to me, I truly evaluate my fault in the situation? I will always be wrong on some level within a conflict. No one is completely selfless or faultless. I’m guilty of a bad attitude, I don’t give others grace, or I will often take offense at a blow to my own pride. Every conflict always involves two wrong parties.
I recently examined a handful of situations from my experiences where I felt like other person wronged me. I tried to identify how I was wrong in each situation. Once I identified my wrong attitude or selfish response, the other person’s faults seemed much less offensive. Recognizing how much I need to be forgiven makes it much easier for me to forgive others.
What if we have forgiveness backwards? Forgiveness isn’t about considering if a person deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is recognizing a person’s fault and choosing to forget the wrong and love the person anyway (or at least not hold on to bitterness towards them). Forgiveness is giving grace because we know we also need grace.
Forgive as We’ve Been Forgiven
There’s only one way I can truly forgive wrongs done to me. I can forgive other people through the grace offered to me by Jesus. He gave his life to forgive me for my sins (offenses/wrongs) so that I can have joyful relationships and extend forgiveness to others.
The forgiveness Jesus offers me if I ask is enough to cover all my wrongs and gives me grace to forgive others.
Have you experienced this forgiveness?
John 3:16 is a well known verse that even my little kids know by heart, with life changing truth.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Forgiveness is just the beginning and the first step to life as God intended for us.
How do you view forgiveness? I’d love to hear your experiences and methods shared in the comments.
Katie enjoys all things creative; DIY projects, photography, decorating and family adventures. She feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids and many artistic outlets.