In the month of November many people take the time to be thankful. If you are on Facebook, some of your friends may come up with something to be thankful for each day of the month. It might be said that this is the “Season of Giving Thanks.”
A year ago, some company started running an advertisement that stated "Happy Thanks for Giving." I wasn’t quite paying attention, so I thought they said, "Happy Thanks for Forgiving.” I realized my mistake quickly, because who would spend money to promote forgiveness? (In fact, it appears being offended is the promotion of the day.)
The whole misunderstanding has got me thinking, even a year later. To be truly thankful and to truly give from your heart, you need to forgive. Maybe this season should also be the season for forgiving.
Mother Teresa said this, “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the world your best and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." Jesus says in Matthew 6: 14, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
It can be hard to forgive. I have awoken from sleep so disturbed by what someone did that my heart would be racing and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Through time, I found praying it through and forgiving in my heart would seem to help until a few weeks or months down the line I would wake up disturbed about the same incident all over again. I thought when Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother 70 times 7, it was about different offenses. In my case, I had to forgive 70 times 7 for the same offense. Forgiveness might take time, but it is important. It is better than packing it up just to find it again later, and that can mean for a lot of baggage. For you see, it isn’t really about the people you need to forgive, but it is always about the relationship between you and God anyway.
Happy Forgiving and Thanksgiving.