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Wendy’s Window: “Taking Forgiveness to Another Level”

Wendy Gladney Dean | 4/20/2017, midnight

Upland, CA--This past week we completed our 10th Annual Forgiving for Living Plus Awards where we honored six community leaders and presented seven young ladies with scholarships to help them on their journey to college. Throughout the day, several different individuals asked me about the meaning of our organization’s name and why we call it, “Forgiving for Living.” As I pondered the inquiries, I realized that it goes back to the foundation of why the organization was started close to seventeen years ago; it was all based around my journey through forgiveness.

This morning as I was going through my devotion the subject of forgiveness came up once again. The lesson talked about how mercy and compassion are woven into the very fabric of forgiveness. The lesson went further and shared that mercy is love in action. Webster’s Dictionary defines mercy as “refraining from harm or punishment” and as “unexpected kindness.” When I think of forgiveness, it encompasses both refraining from harm towards another and showing kindness that may not otherwise be expected or deserved.

When it comes to taking forgiveness to another level, I can’t help but think about how each and every day God forgives us for both minor and major things; yet we find it difficult to forgive our fellow man for offenses that would be considered minor. I also think about how we often commit crimes of ignorance where we aren’t even aware that we did something to another that needs forgiving. Forgiveness falls on both sides of the coin. Just as we should forgive others, others will at some time or another need to forgive us.

During this season of Lent leading up to Easter (also known as Resurrection Sunday) where many Christians choose to fast or give up something (in commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness) I decided to give up certain personal pleasures (such as shopping) and give that resource to someone else in their time of need. I have also been making an effort to open my heart a little wider to forgive others beyond their expectation -- even when it is uncomfortable.

I am often reminded of the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “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 (even) our enemies.” This is truly taking forgiveness to another level!

Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org. Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com.