Wednesday, September 19, 2012

70 X 7 - Freedom through Forgiveness

Forgiveness. It's so hard to do, but it's so critical to the one forgiven and to the one who forgives. I'm reading a wonderful book titled Gray Matter by a colleague, Dr David Levy. This neurosurgeon shares the story of his journey through forgiveness - extending it and receiving it - and the healing that followed. He then shares his process of guiding patients on their own path to forgiveness, a choice that facilitates healing and leads to better outcomes - even in brain surgery!

Many of you read my recent post, Second Chances, which is closely tied to today's theme of forgiveness. Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, and so we're given countless second chances, as the song says, because of the Cross.

I have another new favorite song; I know you're not surprised! It's called Losing (hear it below). It shares the heart of one who wants to forgive but feels like he's losing in the process. Yet, that feeling couldn't be further from the reality of what takes place when we choose to forgive. When we forgive, although we may have a "right" to hold a grudge, we let go of that right. We let it go! We never excuse the insult or injury, we never deny the pain it's caused, but we choose to let go of the bitterness, resentment, and our desire and "right" to revenge.

Forgiveness is letting go!

When we choose to forgive, we release the one who harmed us, and we release ourselves. We free ourselves when we forgive. Or, to say it more accurately, we let Christ's work on the Cross free us from the prison of resentment and unforgiveness. When we forgive, we extend to others the forgiveness that Jesus extends to us.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, says Galatians 5:1. To live in freedom, we must forgive. There is no other way for us. If we feel like we're losing when we forgive, the feeling is wrong, it's inaccurate. We're winning. We're winning big! We're winning our souls back.

As the song says, we all have a choice to make. One is love. The other is hate. When we choose to forgive, we are like Christ. We choose love.

Today, I choose to forgive again, and again. Everything. Everyone. You. Me.

Join me. 70 X 7 times. Be free! Let go.

Choose love!
Dr Mari

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