By Donna Rayburn

It would be truly wonderful if we could come to a place within ourselves to forgive those whom we deem to have “trespassed” against us. How wonderful for us to be able to look our transgressor in the eye, embrace them with open arms and say, “I forgive you.” How wonderful for them to feel our forgiveness. But is that all there is to it? Should we not also ask for God’s forgiveness? When we experience His forgiveness, it enables us to forgive others. It shows our children the importance of forgiveness in our lives. Colossians 3:13 reads, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” It’s amazing how much emotional baggage and physical damage we endure simply because we will not let go of our anger. We tend to notice others’ mistakes because we don’t want to reveal our foolish mistakes and weaknesses. What kind of example is this for our children? The mind and heart do not function separately from the body and soul. Whatever troubles our spirits affects the whole person. As Christians, we are required by God to forgive (Matthew 18:34-35), but instead of taking the pain to the person who caused it, we should take it to the One who can heal it. Forgiveness is not just for the person who hurt us, it is for us, too. We leave the other person to God. Our relationships with children are often better than with each other because they place so few demands on us, they love us unconditionally, and their capacity to forgive is incredible. Maybe if we could see things as simply as they do, our lives would be much more Christ-like. We, who have been hurt with an unkind word or deed, should forgive and forget. By doing that, we are showing our children the way of Christ. We have to always remember that our children are watching us, even when we don’t realize they are watching. Let’s show them the healing that we feel when we forgive someone who has trespassed against us. We call that peace; Christ calls it love.Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Donna Rayburn is a local resident and mother-of-four children and author of I Accidentally… a story about her son’s kindergarten adventures. Email her at or visit

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