SHINE: Growing by the Spirit — Sow Seeds of Forgiveness and Watch Love Bloom

SHINE! … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

Sow Seeds of Forgiveness and Watch Love Bloom

© 2010 Tonya M. Evans

April 5, 2010

Blowing dandelion seedsSome people believe the three most difficult words to say are “I love you.” But I actually believe “I love you” is much easier to say sometimes than “I forgive you.” Translation: I accept what is and I release the outcome to God.

Here’s what Mark Twain had to say about forgiveness:

“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”  ~ Mark Twain

Twain certainly had a way with words! And the imagery captured in this quotation is powerful indeed. Just picture it. Someone walking carelessly through a garden, crushing flowers as she goes. Preoccupied with her own life, her own worries; oblivious to the beauty all around. All the while, as each bloom is crushed, it releases its delicate fragrance with no thought to retaliate or withhold or to change what is. Love freely given … unnoticed, unappreciated — but still love, unconditionally. This is the stuff of which forgiveness is made.

We all know intellectually and spiritually it is good to forgive. And every respected spiritual and religious practice espouses this essential premise. Still, when we are hurt or disappointed it is so very easy to say the other person doesn’t deserve forgiveness and to hold on to our “rightness” and make our forgiveness contingent on the contrition of the “wrongdoer”. We shame, we blame, we judge; believing our reaction is not only justified but somehow miraculously punishes the one who hurt us because, of course, they “deserve” to be punished, right? Wrong. We have neither the power nor the right to judge.

“”If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast the first stone.” John 8:7

The truth is the only one who truly suffers (emotionally, physically and spiritually) from judging is the one who stands in judgment. Seeds of judgment yield the fruit of fear: doubt, anger, resentment, and hate, just to name a few. And these negative emotions manifest in myriad ways, each of which affect you rather than the person who hurt you.

Thankfully, God takes a different approach:

“It is possible for the Lord to look at us without seeing our sins because when he forgave us, he removed our sins as far as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:12).

And Jesus taught this lesson by parable:

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

This parable teaches that it’s not a question if we should forgive because we should – early and often. And it also teaches that forgiveness is a continuous process that, like love, has no end. Most importantly, forgiveness is both a choice and a gift – a choice to see others as God sees them and a gift to yourself, by choosing love over fear and forgiveness over judgment as if to pay forward the grace the Creator gives us so freely.

So free yourself with the gift of forgiveness. To forgive does not mean to approve of the actions that harmed you. It means that you give up wishing for a different result and you manifest the love of God. Be the change you seek. Sow the seeds of forgiveness and watch love bloom!

Here are some health benefits of forgiveness.

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3 Responses

  1. My,my,my.Umph, umph umph.
    Nothing to add.

    • @ KWalls and MelvinJP Thanks so much. This topic resonates within my soul in a profound way. Glad I was able to express it in words.

      Blessings,

      Tonya
      SHINE

  2. Well Said!!! Thank you 🙂

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