Learn to become more forgiving in your attitudes to people.
Forgiveness is right at the centre of Jesus’ teaching and it is a genuine step of faith to forgive others and to become a more forgiving person as a way of life. Here are a couple of practical suggestions for forgiveness…
1. You don’t necessarily have to dive in the deep end, trying to forgive the one person who has hurt you most in all your life. Why don’t you start with something that is a bit smaller – for example, trying not to lose it with someone who cuts you up when you’re driving, or with the person who annoys you most at work?
2. Trying to change your feelings of anger and hatred can be extremely hard – if not impossible – and it’s not really the crucial part of forgiveness anyway. The first and most important thing is to not act or speak in hatred. And maybe you’ll find that if you can manage that, then your feelings will change of their own accord.
Here is some useful background to forgiveness from the teaching of Jesus.
Jesus taught that there are two sides to forgiveness. We need to admit to God our own faults and wrongdoings and ask his free forgiveness, and we need to be equally free in forgiving people who have done wrong to us. They can both be very hard in different ways, but as Jesus saw it they were opposite sides of the same coin. He said…
One of his parables is about how stupid people look who implore God to forgive them for a whole life’s worth of wrongdoing, and then as soon as someone wrongs them in the least them insist on an eye for an eye. (Matthew 18:21-35)
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Jesus was someone who stretched the faith of people around him. He constantly dared people to see things differently, to act differently and to take steps of faith towards God.
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