Ladies, inner beauty radiates on the outside, not just in a person’s actions, but in his or her whole being. Granted, no matter how hard we try to be beautiful on the inside, we are not perfect. We are not Jesus. But we are to imitate Him, and in doing so, we should strive to be perfect. Yes, we will fall short, but remember the saying—if you aim for the moon, you’ll likely land on a star.
This week’s inner beauty virtue is one that is not easy to attain. But it’s fundamental for the heart of all Christians. It is forgiveness.
What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is when we put aside feelings of bitterness toward someone who hurt us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we have to let a person back into our lives, especially if he or she continues to hurt us physically or was emotionally abusive. Forgiveness means not holding bad feelings toward that person, but rather holding a feeling of love and extending that feeling of well-being to him or her.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Consider practicing more forgiveness in the following areas of your life:
- At school. If you’ve been hurt by a friend, you need to extend forgiveness to that person, even if she doesn’t apologize for what she has done to you. You don’t have to forget the hurt, but you do need to let it go and not bring it up again.
- At home. It’s easy to hold grudges with family members and so much harder to let them go. Whether it’s your sibling or your parents, you really need to forgive the hurt. Many a strong relationship has been destroyed because of hurt and a desire not to forgive.
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” This is a quote by C. S. Lewis and pretty much sums up the reason why it’s so important for each of us as Christians to show forgiveness to everyone. Think about the worst types of sin. God will forgive all of them if asked. Even murder. God will forgive a murderer if he is truly sorry, asks sincerely for forgiveness and genuinely repents.
If you’re finding it a struggle to be forgiving, then consider the following tips:
- Read your Bible. Jesus said we are to forgive if we want to be forgiven, and boy do we need forgiveness. Forgiveness is needed on both ends of the spectrum, but to forgive takes a lot of strength, and that’s why it sets true Christians apart.
- Practice it. From small transgressions to big ones, be quick in forgiving others. And think about those you’ve held grudges for. Find it in your heart to forgive and feel relief in letting the hurt go.
- Pray for it. You will need to pray regarding those hurts by those we love. God will give you the strength that you need to let go of past hurt and find true peace.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)
Ladies, do you have forgiveness? Do you know of other ways to strengthen your forgiveness?