Are We Grateful for Opportunities to Practice Forgiveness?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

“I am grateful for every opportunity I have had to forgive.”
~ Susan Hunt

I’m not there.

But I want to be.

Equipped to Forgive

Opportunities to forgive are opportunities to drink deeper from God’s fountain of grace.

And as grace satisfies, it also equips. The more we learn how to forgive, the more equipped we are to help others heal from their own hurts, too.

Author Susan Hunt in Spiritual Mothering illustrates this forgiveness cycle by repeating Abigail’s story in the Hebrew scriptures (1 Samuel 25). Abigail’s husband Nabal was a gruff man. He displayed his roughness at an inopportune time when David asked him for help. Nabal refused to help David.

So Abigail took it upon herself to intervene directly with David.

What does this have to do with forgiveness?

Abigail strongly encouraged David to forgive both her presumption in approaching David as well as to forgive Nabal’s foolishness. She didn’t want David to have an avenging murder on his record.

How was Abigail equipped to encourage forgiveness?

Susan Hunt suggests it’s because Abigail must have practiced forgiveness herself, proof of having survived a marriage with Nabal for years. While Abigail was described as beautiful, it was also said she was discerning. She was more than just a pretty face.

Like Abigail, if we want to help people forgive other people, we need to have our own experiences with forgiveness.

Only forgivers can teach forgiveness with credibility.

Challenge

Susan Hunt offers this challenge to practice forgiving others:

If there is anyone you are having difficulty forgiving, make a list of what it will cost you to forgive and what it will cost you not to forgive. Then, by God’s grace, forgive.

I need to take that challenge. Not only for my own good, but so that I’ll be a better example to others of how to forgive.

And I often need others to forgive me.

How about you? 

revised from the archives

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Featured Post

How can our imagination help (or hinder) our ability to forgive?

Beth Willlis Miller offers four strategies for imagination to apply when we have been hurt.

Read all of Beth’s post here at her blog, then link up your own blog posts below.

I Can Only Imagine…

Do you have someone you need to forgive today? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “Are We Grateful for Opportunities to Practice Forgiveness?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. Lisa Blair

    I’ve thanked the Lord for His grace to forgive, but I’ve never thought about thanking Him for the opportunity to forgive. That is a powerful sentiment! I appreciate this insight, Lisa, “Only forgivers can teach forgiveness with credibility.”

  2. Trudy

    I have always been awed by Abigail’s graciousness to her husband by intervening for him, Lisa. Thank you for these reflections. May we by grace forgive as God so freely forgives us! Love and blessings to you!

  3. Jerralea Winn Miller

    True words, Lisa! “Only forgivers can teach forgiveness with credibility.”
    I loved the idea of making a list of what would happen if you forgave, and what would happen if you didn’t. Sometimes we need to see it in black and white.

  4. Barbara Harper

    I’ve read that book, but it’s been many years. I don’t remember that point! But what a good point it is, that Abigail would have had a lot of experience with discernment and forgiveness by that time. It helps me to remember that forgiveness is an act of the will, not a feeling. So often I wait to feel like forgiving instead of seeking God’s grace to do it.

  5. beth willis miller

    Lisa, WOW! Thank you so much for sharing my post, “I Can Only Imagine…” as your Featured Post today! It is such an honor and a blessing to share with others what has encouraged me. All glory and honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  6. Natalie

    Opportunities to forgive have never found their way onto a list of things I’m thankful for. Definitely something to think about here. Thanks for that.

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