If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;
           if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
                           —John 20.23

When you forgive
you unbind someone,
like Lazarus emerging from the tomb
of your judgment.
Forgiveness is healing.

Love is concern for the other,
not resentment and concern for self,
and “what I am owed.”
When you forgive you are free to love.
Forgiveness is freedom.

If you retain the sins of any
and cling to a judgment,
you stay in the past,
still suffering the offense.
The condemnation you intend for another
you bear yourself.
You are bound by the need you imagine
for something in the past to be corrected.
When you forgive you come into the present,
which is the only place life is.
You come out of the dead past into the living present
like Christ emerging from the tomb,
walking in newness of life.
Forgiveness is resurrection.

God is in the present moment, not the past;
God is love, not resentment.
Even when being wronged,
like Christ on the cross, forgiving,
God’s judgment is always mercy.
Forgiveness is union with God.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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