ID-10069942For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14 NIV

“I heard your son committed suicide.”

My mind swirled with disbelief and shock. I had returned home only a few days before from my son’s celebration of life and burial in another state. I stared at that lady in the church choir and paused before answering. “No, he did not.”

Adamantly, she said, “Well, that’s what I heard.”

“You heard wrong.”

I struggled to be nice. Simply walked away. My knees shook. My hands grew clammy. I fought back tears and anger. Who would make up such a thing and why? Surely she didn’t think she’d blessed me with her bluntness and lack of truth. I felt sure this woman wouldn’t have wanted me to say these things to her had she lost a child.

I sat at home with my journal and complained to God. Whatever happened to sympathy? A prayer for me and the rest of the family would have helped. Even a hug or squeezing my hand without saying a word would have been better. A sympathy card or one white daisy.

God answered me all right, but not in the way I expected. He reminded me of the times he had forgiven me. He brought to my mind some of the things I’d said in the past without thinking.

God was more adamant than the lady at church. He knew she was misinformed and her behavior was unloving, but he still wanted me to forgive her.

“No way, God,” I blurted. “That’s not fair. She should be asking me for forgiveness.”

But eventually I did forgive her for my own wellbeing.

Listening to God and obeying his Word aren’t easy. He tells us to forgive so that He might forgive us as well. He never said it was easy. God understood for us to forgive we have to seek out our own misgivings and learn compassion and peace. Sometimes we fight Him. As our loving heavenly Father, God knows a lack of forgiveness robs us of peace and the abundant life His Son came to give us. He doesn’t want that for us.

If you harbor unforgiveness in your heart, let God shower you with his peace and bless you with abundant life. Forgiveness is for you.

Photo courtesy of and Simon Howden.

imageYvonne Ortega is an international bilingual speaker, author, licensed counselor, teacher, and coach. She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer, Revell, a contributing author to two anthologies and has published close to 200 articles. She is the Stonecroft Regional Speaker Trainer of VA and hosts a blogtalkradio show. Her website is

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