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Forgiveness Is Essential

Read Psalm 130:1-8

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications! If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered. Psalm 130:1-4 (NRSV)

Reese Delaney, from Georgia, recently left a company he had been instrumental in building over the past decade. He was in a leadership role, so the choice to leave was difficult. He could not explain exactly what was wrong, but he knew things were changing. When he shared his concerns about where the company was headed, colleagues he once trusted turned their backs on him. Reese walked away, feeling broken and defeated.

The traditional stages of grief include denial, anger, and depression, followed by eventual acceptance. In Psalm 130, God makes it clear that forgiveness is also essential. Although time eased the pain of loss and betrayal, without the extra step of forgiveness Reese was consumed by a desire for retribution. Wanting bad things to happen to the people who hurt him was not healthy, and it kept him focused on their failings instead of acknowledging his own. As Reese stewed over the injustice of his situation, he was unable to see that God could use this painful experience to strengthen his faith.

We cannot move forward with God if our energy is spent nursing old wounds or hoping for another's misfortune. Instead, we can seek God's wisdom and comfort as we work through the pain, remaining open to what God has in store for us.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, help us to forgive so that we can let go of the past and grow closer to you, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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