We all have the ability to forgive but there are times when we wilfully choose to either delay, or deny forgiveness. Sometimes we feel that the wounds inflicted upon us are so severe that they have left us too weak to muster up the strength required to forgive. We justify the unforgiveness by believing that we just need a little time to lick our wounds and heal before we can forgive. When in truth, we actually feel that the severity of the transgression absolves us from the need to forgive and validates holding on to our anger and hurt. Then there are times when the transgression is so incomprehensible to us that we do not believe it is deserving of forgiveness.

So, what really happens when we either withhold or completely deny forgiveness? We become embittered. The longer we hold on to the unforgiveness in our hearts, it festers and it poisons not only our thoughts towards those who transgressed against us, but our entire being. Unforgiveness comes at a very high price. We lose our peace, our joy, our energy and sometimes even our health. The act of forgiveness gives grace to the transgressor and sets them free; but it also frees the forgiver, in fact even more so. We are fooling ourselves when we buy into the lie that withholding forgiveness will only hurt the transgressor, the truth is it will be far more damaging to the one who holds on to the hurt and harbours unforgiveness in their hearts.

We also mustn’t lose sight of the fact that forgiveness is not something that should need to be earned. We shouldn’t condemn the transgressor and use guilt to manipulate them into doing whatever we demand in terms of recompense. We also shouldn’t fall into this trap when we have transgressed. Freely forgive, and when forgiveness isn’t given then we must forgive the unforgiveness and move on, with a clean, pure heart. True forgiveness is not merely done in word but in deed. In other words we can’t say we forgive and then constantly remind others of past transgressions against us. When true forgiveness takes place we not only let go, we wipe the slate clean. The Bible words it perfectly in 1 Corinthians 13:5, ‘keeps no records of wrongs’.

It has been said that it is harder to forgive those who mean the most to us. This might be true but our love for our nearest and dearest can certainly be shown through our capacity to forgive them. In my opinion, it is hardest to forgive ourselves. Human nature makes it so that we are harder on ourselves than anyone else. Sadly, we often overlook the need to forgive ourselves. Neglecting to give this much needed self-forgiveness can have far-reaching negative, and in some cases dire consequences.

As the Lord freely forgives, we must follow that example and freely forgive those who trespass against us and also freely forgive ourselves.

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32.

“Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you.” –Colossians 3:13.

Children often find it difficult to manage their anger and emotions, this has a direct effect on their ability to both forgive and receive forgiveness. It can be a very challenging thing for them. I wrote the “Mindi the moth” book to demonstrate the beauty of forgiveness to children in a way they will be able to relate to and on a level that they can easily understand. The delightful Mindi the moth character, along with the entertaining story and captivating illustrations work together to show children that when you forgive, you let go of your anger and feel happy. The story also provides some insight into the world of moths.

Mindi the moth” is available from Amazon and various other leading online retailers. Flutter into this delightful book and join Mindi on her exciting adventure. If you have read and enjoyed this story would you please be so kind as to show your support by leaving a review. I trust that this story will highlight the importance of forgiveness and hope it will motivate children to forgive.

Any blog or book related feedback and questions are always welcome. I would love to hear from you.

Please share photographs of your children enjoying my books by posting them on my website and/or my Jacqui Shepherd Children’s Author Facebook Page.

Make story time a special time. Happy reading!

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