Forgiveness Day is every day

 

Ephesians 4--32

Recognized as a time to forgive and to be forgiven, the last Saturday in October has been designated National Forgiveness Day by the Positive Peaceful Partners and Center of Unconditional Love. Various organizations in a several countries sponsor “Forgiveness Day,” but the name has been changed from “National” to “International” or “Global,” with dates that vary, with most occurring during the summer months from June to October. No matter which National Forgiveness Day individuals choose to celebrate, the universal ideals of pardoning and reconciliation are always worthy of recognition.

We know that forgiveness is a vitally important concept in Christianity, and the ideal is also seen in the Jewish celebration of Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. In Christianity, however, forgiveness is not a one-time act on a one-way street, but the virtue is a two-way street. Not only are believers asked to forgive others, but they also ask others to forgive them for any offenses or violations, real or perceived.

This virtue is eloquently expressed in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. . . .” The subject is connected to some of the last words that Jesus Christ spoke before his death on the cross “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Paul also exhorts believers to “be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”

Forgiveness begins with acknowledging some kind of error or offense has occurred. Once the mistake has been acknowledged, many times what follows is a verbal expression of the ten most difficult words to say in the English language: “I’m sorry—I made a mistake. Please forgive me.”

Those words bring to mind lyrics to an original song which begins by asking God to forgive me, followed by asking others to forgive me and to forgive others, and finally telling others that God forgives them:

Please Forgive Me

 

For each careless word and each thoughtless deed,

For each time I failed to follow your lead,

Each time I ignored you and went astray.

And let go your hand and walked my own way.

 

Please forgive me.  Please forgive me.

Please forgive me.  Please forgive me.

Please forgive me this time.  Please forgive me each time.

Please forgive me.

 

Though I may have offended unknowingly,

I give up my right to hurt you because you hurt me.

As God in Christ Jesus has forgiven me,

I release all past hurts and I set you free.

 

I forgive you. I forgive you.

I forgive you. I forgive you.

I forgive you this time. I forgive you each time.

I forgive you.

 

God first gave to us so that we might live.

We give to others when we learn to forgive.

Jesus, our example so perfect and true,

Said, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.”

 

I forgive you. I forgive you.

I forgive you. I forgive you.

I forgive you this time. I forgive you each time.

I forgive you.

 

Do not resist Him; He wants you to yield.

Accept His forgiveness, and you will be healed.

Each sin committed, each iniquity

Is cast into the depths of the deepest sea.

 

God forgives you. God forgives you.

God forgives you. God forgives you.

God forgives you this time. God forgives you each time.

God forgives you.

 

When it comes to “forgiving and being forgiven,” we do not have to wait until the last Saturday in October or some other designated day. Each day of the year is Forgiveness Day.

Matthew West, popular Christian singer, tells the story behind one of the songs that he wrote “Forgiveness”:

We conclude with Matthew West, as he performs “Forgiveness” in its entirety:

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2 Responses to “Forgiveness Day is every day”

  1. R.H. (Rusty) Foerger Says:

    Powerful Dr. J. Powerful.

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