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Here’s something tough for me to write…I suck at forgiveness. I can’t explain why that is because I’m not really sure myself. For whatever reason, I have always struggled with forgiving offenses. I might say I do, but truth be told, I’ve got a closet full of “forgive but not forgets.” Far too long, my theme song has been “I’m Not Ready To Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks. If you think I’m kidding, it’s literally the second most played song on my iTunes catalog.

Look, I’ve got forgiveness issues okay….

This past weekend we arrived home late and found a gift in our mailbox. My friends at Merge PR¬†were kind enough to send me the latest CD by Matthew West called “Into The Light” to review. It’s been rocking my world and all week. You may have already heard two of the songs from the CD on radio (“Forgiveness” and “My Name Is”). As I’ve listened to the CD this week, I’ve been doing some research on what the songs were written for. The song “Forgiveness” and the story behind it have forced me to face my forgiveness issues face to face.

Take the time to watch this video. You’ll be glad you did.

What an incredible story of forgiveness. As a parent, I cannot imagine the strength and courage it must have taken for that mom to look the killer of her child in the eye and forgive him. I am struck by how selfless this act is and the example of grace she has extended. What I find even more incredible is how she set that man free. Her forgiveness has given him life. Incredible.

I can’t sit here and say that this video or a CD have changed my nature. What I can say is that I’m a work in progress. This story and so many like it show that forgiveness is an act that releases both the one that forgives and the one that is forgiven. I take Matthew Wests lyrics as a prayer for myself as well.

Show me how to love the unlovable

Show me how to reach the unreachable

Help me now to do the impossible


-Matthew West.

Matthew West “Into The Light” is available at most music outlets.


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Comments · 6

  • beejsteph · August 9, 2013

    Not One Of As Humans Have Ever Found It Easy To Forgive. But When I Do Not Forgive Someone For The Wrong That They Have Done To Me…I Am Only Hurting ME!! I Am The One Who Feels Like I Am In Bondage, With Chains Of Unforgiveness Wrapped Tightly Around My Heart. I Have A Sponsor In A.A, Who Has ALWAYS AND FOREVER Told Me That If I Would Forgive “MY PERSON” For His/Her Wrongdoing, And Pray EVERY GOOD THING For Them (That I Would Pray For Myself) That God Will In Turn Forgive Me For Harboring That Anger And Bitterness.
    I Am Quite Certain That You Already Know This…But For Whatever It’s Worth: Unforgiveness Will Turn Into Resentments, Anger, And Bitterness. When You Harbor Those Things In Your Heart For Any Length Of Time….It Can AND WILL Eat You Alive, Like A Slow Growing Cancer. I Have A Dr. Who Is One Of The Most Godly Men On Earth, And He Has Said To Me On MANY Occasions, “B.J., If You Continue To Allow That Unforgiveness To Stay In Your Heart, It Will Cause More Than Just Anger, Bitterness, And Resentments….It Will Hurt You In Physical And Mental Ways As Well.”
    I Have Noticed When I Forgive…My Mental Health Really And Truly Is Much Better. My Physical Body Is Not As Run Down, And My Body Heals So Much Quicker Whenever I Have An Outbreak Of MRSA. My Dr. Cares So Much About My Son And I…That He Has Asked Me, “B.J., Is There Any Possible Way That There Might Be Some Unforgiveness That you Are Harboring In Your Heart?” He Knows Me Only ALL TOO WELL.
    So For Sharing This Story And Song I Applaud You!! :) But I Will Definitely Be Praying For You That God Will Show You How Forgiving Is Like A True Healing Salve That Will Heal You From The Inside Out. :)
    Here Is A Passage Of Scripture That May Compel You And I Both To Forgive Those Who Do Wrong By Us.:
    Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors;
    Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
    Mat 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you;
    Mat 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
    Thanks So Much For Sharing!!! Love you And Heather And The Kids SOOO MUCH!! :)

    • aaron · August 9, 2013

      Thank you for sharing your personal stories and experience too. Forgiveness is a powerful thing. Like Heather said “we’re also called to do it!” Have a great weekend!

  • Rob Rice · August 9, 2013

    Okay brother, stop with the stepping on my toes EVERY single post! :) What a great message. I shared it to my Facebook and I hope everyone takes a look at how we all handle forgiveness. I know it sure makes my dwelling on small hurts that I hold against those I hold grudges against in a whole new light!

    • aaron · August 9, 2013

      Thanks for sharing the link Rob. Matthew West deserves the credit for putting together an incredible song and sharing this unbelievable story. I’m not sure how anyone can watch that and not do a little soul searching.

  • Eileen Ours · August 11, 2013

    This has me thinking about the type of forgiveness with which I struggle the most…..forgiving myself! Treating myself kindly when I do something wrong or when I feel that I don’t measure up. I work hard to try to see myself through God’s eyes and I am quite sure that he would have me forgive myself 90% more than I do.

    On a second note, if you want to read another story of forgiveness (fictional)…I would recommend The Shack by William Paul Young.

    Thanks for being so honest Aaron! I appreciate it!

  • Pingback: Sunday Playlist…. Hello, My Name Is by Matthew West | Notes from a Southern Kitchen

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