Category: Forgiveness

ForgivenNess

ForgivenNess

In the numerous conversations that I’ve had with people who struggle with this topic, it often comes down to a difficulty in forgiving someone else or forgiving themselves. One or the other, it seems like clearing one of those hurdles is the barrier between them and moving on toward freedom. 

Countless pages have been written on this topic (including this eBook by me), and I would guess that countless more will be written in the future. None of those pages has changed the fact that forgiveness is an issue that everyone struggles to give and/or receive. This is one of those topics that can be turned over and over, analyzed from all sides, questioned, and still not get to the root of it all. 

*Spoiler Alert* This is merely a blog post so you probably won’t find the root of it all here either. Maybe we’ll get lucky, though, and find some helpful perspective.

In the numerous conversations that I’ve had with people who struggle with this topic, it often comes down to a difficulty in forgiving someone else or forgiving themselves. One or the other, it seems like clearing one of those hurdles is the barrier between them and moving on toward freedom. 

Freedom from guilt. Freedom from shame. Freedom from beating one’s self up daily. Freedom from the haunt of something in the past. 

Freedom to move forward. Freedom to breathe more easily. Freedom to reconnect with God. Freedom to reconnect with others.

People who know me will tell you that I love me some Henri Nouwen. His writing has greatly influenced my faith journey. Not long ago I came across this thought that he shared in his book, “With Open Hands,”  

“Maybe someone will say to you, ‘You have to forgive yourself.’ But that isn’t possible. What is possible is to open your hands without fear, so that the One who loves you can blow your sins away.”

Thank you, Henri. Our human nature makes it so very difficult to find the inner strength to forgive. It’s contrary to our inner desires. I think that the source of our capacity to forgive is really connected to our realization and acceptance of the forgiveness that Jesus showers on us.

I call that forgivenNess.

It’s the state of living in the forgiveness of God.

ForgivenNess.

We have to live into that before we can really work on our own capacity to forgive. Until we truly live in this state of forgivenNess those hurdles will be tough to clear. Once we set up residence in that place, however, then we can move on toward the freedom we desire. The hard part is getting to the point of recognizing your citizenship in that place. 

The scriptures point to that citizenship. It emphasizes our identity as being rooted in the forgiveness of God. They invite us to settle in that state. This is the first step toward being able to work through forgiveness of self and/or others.

If you’d like to read more on the topic, check out my eBook “forgivenNess yields forgiveness.”