How It Feels to Be Forgiven
After a warm introduction, the pastor stepped to the stage. He was overcome with emotion because he knew this was his last time addressing our congregation. It had been several years since he first started pastoring at our church and was on his way to another state to start his own church. Before he started pastoring at our church, he left another church in shame over incidents he thought he wouldn’t be able to come back from. But God worked on him and his situation. It brought him to a place where he felt comfortable leading people again. Since coming to our church, God has worked on him even more, and today his story is one that inspires people to see that recovery is possible. His is not a story of recovery from addiction. It is a story of recovery from poor choices, the changes he made and the forgiveness that followed, which allow him to lead a fuller life today.
People in recovery from addiction face situations similar to this every day. They feel their past mistakes can tarnish them and leave them unusable and unfollowable. Fortunately, forgiveness is possible for those who earnestly seek it and make the choice to turn from their poor decisions. One of the greatest and hardest parts about working a program of recovery through the 12 Steps is seeking forgiveness. Those who work a 12-Step program are instructed to make a list of those whom we have harmed and owe an amends to, then to make that amends. It can be financial amends, apologizing to a person, or an apology you write out and don’t actually say because the situation is so far gone that it would cause more harm. There are many other ways amends can be made.
The result of making these amends is usually forgiveness—forgiveness by the other person and forgiveness of self. It is not guaranteed that you will be forgiven, but making an effort always helps, and the weight lifted off your shoulders by being forgiven is indescribable.
Now to You…
- Do you know how it feels be forgiven and to forgive yourself?
- Do you need to ask someone else for forgiveness or make amends?
- How would that change your life today?