Feeling the Forgiveness

I’ve talked a lot about forgiveness on this blog, because I’ve learned first hand that it’s what brings calmness out of the chaotic and messy moments that I’ve had in my marriage. And it only makes sense that it should be the foundation of marriage, since forgiveness is the foundation of what Christ did for us in all of our messy sinfulness.

But what I’ve found is that even though there are steps in the forgiveness process that help us to clear the slate—so to speak—with our spouses, there’s one step that helps so much more than any of the others.
It is the “Comparison Step.”
Now, there are times when I play the Comparison Game and it very often gets me in trouble! But in the process of forgiveness, there’s one way to play the Comparison Game that helps both me and my husband to win every time.
Here’s how it works:
  1. I think about or (more likely write about) what I feel my husband has done to hurt or offend me.
  2. I then think about or write about what I’ve done in that same circumstance to hurt or offend him.
  3. Then I think about what Christ has done for me. In other words, I compare myself to Christ’s holiness, purity and sacrificial love.
As you might guess, when I do this kind of comparison, it helps me to recognize the huge disparity between myself and my Savior. If I left the comparisons to just the first two—myself and my spouse—I might find a way to feel superior or believe I’m not as guilty as my spouse.
But when I lay myself alongside Christ, I feel saddened, I feel convicted, and I feel humbled by the reality of my sin. There’s a huge shift in my heart—I no longer feel that I am the offended one. My anger toward my spouse gives way to mercy out of the overflow of mercy I realize I’ve received from Christ.
Having trouble “feeling” like you’ve forgiven your spouse? Try this exercise and I promise, Christ will open your eyes and soften your heart!
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 (NLT)

Today’s post is linked to – No Ordinary Blog Hop and

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  • smiles. a much needed message for sure…and a practical exercise as well…good stuff…

  • messy marriage

    Thanks, Brian!

  • what a great exercise! thanks for sharing it. It could work for every relationship that needs to be blessed with the gift of forgiveness, not just marriages. very cool.

  • Christina@toshowthemjesus.com

    Love the comparison step! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. And thanks for the kind words you left on my blog:)

  • Hi, Beth! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I see that you and I are writing on the same topic–forgiveness. In fact, forgiveness is my topic for the whole month of August. I like your steps here. Many people have an intention and a desire to forgive, but they need “how to” steps. That’s what you offer here.

  • Can I just say that I’ve missed popping in over here? AND I must say… the new new look is FABULOUS! Great blog on forgiveness. I’m picking up what you’re putting down. 🙂

  • Hey Donna, so glad you did “pop over!” Thanks for noticing, although there’s more to come in the very near future regarding the look of the blog. Thanks, bloggy friend!