10 Ways to Celebrate National Forgiveness Day

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National Forgiveness Day is not just a faith or religious holiday. The need to forgive and be forgiven is a human condition which affects everyone.

National Forgiveness Day is not just a faith or religious holiday. The need to forgive and be forgiven is a human condition which affects everyone. Today is the perfect time to restore hurting and broken relationships through the gift of forgiveness.

Withholding forgiveness causes stress which can lead to physical symptoms like – anxiety, high blood pressure, and depression. It can cause negative emotions and problems with anger and frustration.

Forgiveness is:

1. Pardon or absolution following an offense.
2. Letting go of feelings of resentment and anger.
3. Canceling a debt; no longer requiring repayment.

It is important to note that forgiveness does not mean you accept or approve of the hurt. It is simply the choice to release the person who hurt you . . . to finally say, “You don’t owe me, I will not hold this against you.”

9 Ways to Forgive Others

1. Realize that holding a grudge hurts you not the people who offended you.

“Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.” ~ Hannah More

2. Admit you have people you need to forgive

Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! Matthew 18:21–22

3. Make a list of people you need to forgive.

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” ~ Corrie ten Boom

4. Pray over the list and ask God to help you forgive.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:11

5. Choose to stop telling the story. 

“Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday.” ~ Steve Maribolli

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9

6. Allow yourself to feel compassion for the people who hurt you. 

“For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?” ~ Bell Hooks

7. Choose to decide most offenses are small and unimportant. Let them go. 

“Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” ~ George McDonald

8. Choose to be happy and kind. 

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” ~ Bernard Meltzer

9. Forgiveness makes love possible. 

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

10. Remember how much God has forgiven in you. 

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. ~C. S. Lewis

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Make Forgiveness Day a great day. A day filled with blessings. Let go of past hurts. Take off the chains of unforgiveness and free yourself to heal and move into tomorrow with peace, joy, and love.

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  1. Hi Deb! I was unaware of National Forgiveness Day…but it’s a good thing. I really liked your point about “choosing to stop telling the story.” That really hits home with me.
    I read somewhere that negative thoughts give birth to more and more, and letting go of the story is a great way to take the power of the problem away.
    Thank you for the FB love too!

    1. Hi Ceil, I think replaying the offense again and again verbally or mentally always leaves me filling icky. It never helps. So thankful the Lord has helped me replace painful stories with His reminders of His protection and love. It’s given me deliverance from so many negatives in my life.

  2. Wow, that’s a great day! I love all your ideas for forgiveness, plus it’s so fun that you have both quotes and Bible verses! I love the Bernard Meltzer quote about changing the future!

    1. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we declared every day Forgiveness Day? It is for us by God’s grace; now we just need to make it so for each other. Thanks Barb. Blessings!

  3. Deb, this is a powerful list for steps in forgiveness. Someone abused my elderly Mom this year and it has been a tough thing in my life. This is most helpful. I am printing it out to keep me on track. Thanks for ministering to me. Have a great weekend!

    1. Cathy, I can be harder to forgive those who hurt our loved ones than it is those who hurt us. I’m so sorry your mom went through that. May you enjoy a blessing-filled weekend. Thanks so much for visiting.

  4. Deb, love the list on forgiveness, another keeper for further use. In fact the second session I have at this ladies retreat will be on forgiveness. Of course you know I am being tested right now on that very thing along with being wise. An unforgiving heart is not a wise heart. Good stuff…thanks for your comment on my post.

    1. Thank you Betty. You are a wonderful encourager. I think we learn the things we teach because we are tested to apply it. It helps us when we can speak from experience, although I have to admit I don’t often like the process. wish I could join you all at the retreat.

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