COS Lenten Devotions

Forgiving Yourself and Others

March 3, 2023

Today's devotional comes to us from Ashleigh Spatz, one of our newer members.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

If there is one thing that Lutherans are good at, it’s forgiveness. We practice self-reflection all the time, and what a wonderful habit to cultivate! I take the act of Communion very seriously. I review in my head the laundry list of things I could have done better, and who and what I need to forgive this week. It is cathartic, but this deep reflection can sometimes lead to worry and guilt. Forgiveness is HARD. Because, life is hard.

We will always have struggles in life; there is no avoiding it. But, we have a divine choice; will I become bitter or will I forgive? I don’t think that God wants us to worry and feel guilty about forgiveness. I think the point is for us to love more. Love ourselves more. Love others more. Love others above all the pain and hurt, because that is what truly sets us free. Whether you are forgiving others or yourself, forgiveness is for you and your heart, and it will always bring you closer to God.

Let us pray,

Dear God, thank you for teaching me to love. Thank you for holding me accountable to care and love myself and others even in the most unbearable pain and mistreatment. I know that struggle is inevitable, but I also know that you have overcome the world and my heart through forgiveness. Thank you for your tender and loving care in all things. Amen.

Enjoy this song that goes with today's topic.