The word ‘forgive’ comes from an old English word forgiefan, which is itself made up of two words: giefan, meaning ‘give’ and for, meaning ‘completely’. To forgive conveys the sense of giving completely. When we have the capacity to forgive others or ourselves we are letting go of burdens and hurts of the past. Giving completely means we let go of negative emotions that can stop us from moving forward and growing. Forgiving frees us from being inward looking and bound up by our past. By forgiving we let go completely and find ourselves open to the opportunities for growth that abound in our lives every day.
God invites us to come to Him to seek forgiveness for those times we have hurt others or been a lesser person than He has called us to be. Having been forgiven we are then reminded through the Lord’s Prayer to forgive others just as we have been forgiven. God’s forgiveness comes to us freely out of His unconditional love for each one of us. Our lives are enhanced where we respond to God’s love and grace by extending the same forgiveness to others.