Do you know the first step to forgiveness?

What is forgiveness? On one hand, it is ending resentment, indignation or anger when an offense has either subjectively or objectively occurred.

To pray as Christ did while he was on the cross. Christ prayed for those who crucified Him: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

“The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

To the confession of the thief next to Jesus on the cross, saying of himself and his fellow criminal of their crucifixion: “And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.”  And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  And He said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Luke 23:41-43

41.Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

42.Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

43.It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon”

 Throughout His public life Jesus also preached forgiveness:

Luke 6:28

“Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

He practiced his own preaching while enduring the agony on the cross to conquer sin and death for salvation.

Let us remind ourselves again of the necessity to follow Our Lord’s injunction to pray for those who offend us. 

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. . . .”

Matthew 5:44

Do you know the first step to forgiveness? It just so happens that praying for someone who has offended us may be both the first act of forgiveness some may be capable of in the beginning of the forgiveness process, and at the same time lead to a deeper level of forgiveness.

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