Love itself may be at stake. If we are unable to forgive one another, we will not be able to love.

Perhaps this is why we can declare with confidence that God is love; it is because, first, God is forgiving.

With so much at risk, God will see to it that love does not leave room for resentment. Instead, God will lead in the cause of mercy.

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Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my sighing. Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch...But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.

Psalm 5:1-3,7-8

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This world is a crazy, messy, painful place, and sometimes life is just hard. When things don’t go our way and people wrong us, the world seems to scream to us, “Revenge is sweet!” and “Let them get what they deserve!” She urges us, “Fight back, or you’ll be seen as weak.”

But if we are still and listen, in the midst of our heaviest, most painful moments our Jesus is whispering to us, “Forgive them, choose hope, choose love.”

In our reading today, the psalmist goes before the Lord each morning, daily seeking deliverance and refuge in God. When it comes to our enemies, revenge is our natural instinct, but God asks that we forgive, even when we don’t think we have the strength within us. May we, like the psalmist, daily come before the Lord, acknowledging and giving thanks for the forgiveness freely given to us, and seeking strength to extend that forgiveness to others.

Sara Hunt

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God of unending forgiveness and grace, grant me the strength to also forgive those who hurt me. Today, when I am wronged, may I be still long enough to hear you whisper, “Forgive them, choose hope, choose love.” Amen.

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There's a gate just ahead, inviting you to pass through. It is marked "Forgiveness." It leads the way to acceptance, confirmation, recognition, being embraced and held. It takes you down the pathway that brings you love.

Reach out and open easily the latch. Step lightly through the gate's portal. Our forgiving God welcomes you there.

Sara Hunt

Sara Hunt is from Tampa, Florida, and is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently she resides in the lovely Pasadena, California, where she is studying at Fuller Theological Seminary and sharing life with Fuller’s Intentional Community at Madison Square.

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Ken Medema

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