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"To err is human; to forgive, divine."
- Alexander Pope


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Today I have finished another new image to the gallery entitled, "Forgiveness", which is the 149th wallpaper to the site and the fifth new one for this year. (Only 1 more to hit the big 150!)

But on this topic, I'd like to share with you what's on my heart.

We don't really hear much about forgiveness in the media today. It's not a flashy topic. In a world where we do try hard - I believe - but maybe not hard enough to avoid conflict and war, it seems as though the answer to any conflict is to fight. Now I'm not pushing that we never fight for what's right. Last month's blog on conviction covers what I feel we should do. However, the art and practice of forgiveness is focused on less and less today. It's even harder when we live in an age where pride and one-upmanship rules above meekness and peace.

First off, the overall truth is that we need to forgive others. How many times have others forgiven you in your life? It's something we rarely think about. You know what is thought of a lot? Grievances - by those who hold them against others.

Humans tend to allow things to fester. The more things stick around in our brains, the more it tends to grow. If we would just follow the wise, yet simple, advice to "forgive and forget", we'd be much more happier in life. So, if not for the sake of those who might have wronged you, do it for yourself and forgive those that hurt you.

I know that this can be a hard thing to do. Some things are easier to forgive than others of course as there are varying degrees of wrong doings. That is why Alexander Pope described it as "divine". Regardless of what it is though, we handcuff ourselves if we cannot forgive others. There are no varying degrees of grudges.

I find it most interesting when I think about who is really affected the most by a grudge. Rarely is it the one on whom the grudge is against. We all know this to be true. Plus we cannot advance in our own lives carrying hate in our hearts and minds. It blocks out better things on which to think about. Negative thoughts grow and take up more and more space while we actually grow smaller and smaller as people. Forgiveness forces us to grow beyond what we currently are, and lets go of all that hate.

Next, we need to forgive others as God forgave us. We are ultimately doomed without His forgiveness. We are imperfect people destined for punishment, were it not for God's love and forgiveness of our sins. Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross. Whether or not you believe this, it doesn't matter. It did happen. Christ was the greatest example of forgiveness, which brings me to my final point.

Forgiveness allows us to set the right example for others. How can I say to you to forgive others when I myself have not forgiven my enemies? I can't. And neither can you. We must forgive first before we have any right to ask others to forgive us. If they don't forgive us, and we've asked for it, then it's on them now as it will begin to eat away at them. However, we can move on.

When we do forgive, we set a good precedent to the ones we forgave as now they feel the need to forgive others who've wronged them. (Chances are that's how things got started.) Hurting people often tend to hurt others as a result of past experiences. When you forgive others, it enables healing, and forgiveness can begin to multiply.

Paul Boese said, "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." If you have a grudge or harbor any ill will toward others because of evil committed against you, seek out and find a way to forgive that person before it eats you up with hate. It's no way to live life. Forgive them, then forget the evil forever. You'll be much happier when you do!
- Original blog entry from 05.22.2014

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