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A Mother’s Arms (Photo by Pastor Davis)

MY MOTHER was truly an inspiration to my soul.  Whenever I felt someone had hurt me, she would simply say, “Son, don’t hold a grudge against them, you must find in your heart the words to forgive them.”  I would say, “but Mom, it hurts, how can I forgive them, they hurt me.”  Son, if you truly want to stop the pain, you must release it and let it go, forgiveness is the only way to your personal peace.

MY MOTHER was a godly woman, she loved and feared the Lord, and she made sure that I understood what she meant when she said I must forgive those who would seek to do harm to me. Now let me share with you the lesson MY MOTHER taught me on FORGIVENESS.  She begin by saying, “Son if the LORD can forgive us of our sins, why do we have such a difficult time of forgiving others when we perceive them to have done us wrong?  Getting rid of our heart aches and pains begins with us.  We must learn to free ourselves of all the negative baggage we carry around each and every day with our unforgiving spirit.

FORGIVENESS works the miracle of change.  When Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies, he replied:  “If I make my enemies my friends, don’t I then destroy them?”  When you forgive you change others and you change yourself.  You change discord to harmony.

FORGIVENESS should span the years.  You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you’ve done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you’ve made.  Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime.  Thus you release others and you release yourself.  You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you.  You free your mind from the burdens of the past so you may walk victoriously into the future.

FORGIVENESS works two ways.  You must forgive to be forgiven.  “He who cannot forgive others,” wrote Edward Herbert, “breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass; for every man has the need to be forgiven.”

FORGIVENESS should become a habit.  When THE MASTER was asked how often we should forgive, he answered: “Until SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN.”  He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

FORGIVENESS should start now.  Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound.  Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness.  Life is short, time is fleeting.  Today is the day to forgive.

FORGIVENESS is the way to personal peace.  It is performing mental surgery in yourself, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges and resentments.  It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.  It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals.  It is discovering a serenity you’ve never known before.

Then with her big beautiful brown eyes, looking and penetrating deep into my soul, the softness of her voice changing, she said, “you may not understand all that I am telling you at this moment, but when the time is right it will all come to you and you will get it and use it to help your own children and others to understand that we all must learn the art of forgiveness.

So on this Mother’s Day weekend, I salute My Beloved Mother for teaching me the art of forgiveness.

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