Several years ago, I can remember sitting on the front steps of our home and thinking: “All I really want is peace!” You can have a nice home, fancy cars, stylish clothes, cool toys, be surrounded by friends and have what you call meaningful relationships, but if you don’t have peace, it is really all just a waste. I set out on a journey that day to find it for myself and through a series of valley and mountain top experiences, I can finally say I am closer than I’ve ever been.
The key to peace is forgiveness. We cannot have peace without forgiveness. We have to forgive others and we also have to forgive ourselves. The Scriptures teach us that God, our Creator forgives us for our sins and failures. And yet even with this amazing truth in our head, it has no real power until we believe it and accept it into our heart. We are forgiven, but we must accept the forgiveness in order for it to have any real impact upon our life and spirit.
And if God in His perfection can forgive our imperfection, then we should be able to forgive ourselves and others. To not forgive others only hurts us and keeps us in a prison of our own making. Some people say: “Well, I’ll forgive the when they ask me to forgive them!” And the problem with that, is that they may never ask. You have the power to forgive, let go and move forward without their asking. Just do it, because that is what God has done for you.
Now let’s think for a moment about forgiving ourselves, which is actually probably one of the hardest things for us to do. We think I am not worthy, I could never deserve it and make up a thousand other excuses, but the truth is we think we know better than God. If God has forgiven us, then who do we think we are to not forgive ourselves???
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9
Remember: There is no peace with out forgiveness. Forgiveness is key to our experiencing the gift of peace. The God of love created us in love and for love and our mistakes do not un-create the love in which we were created. It is true, we make mistakes, commit sin and miss the mark, but when we accept God gift of grace and mercy, His love releases from the consequences of our indiscretion and into the amazing gift of His peace.