Forgiveness should not be seasonal. Forgiveness should be an at ready mindset, attitude and lifestyle. No one said it was easy. However, the returns on being the first to forgive on a daily basis and not just when the Holidays roll around are life giving. Issues such as bitterness, trust, hate and sickness can all be dealt with by applying forgiveness in the proper situation.
The equation is simple - "Forgive, and you will be forgiven." - Luke 6:37. However, forgiveness is easier to give when you have experienced forgiveness yourself. If you have not tasted forgiveness, The Holy Spirit, through Paul, said in Hebrews 8:12 concerning our Salvation or permanent forgiveness through Christ -
- "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
However, just like a clear glass of water is muddied when sediment in the bottom of the glass is stirred by a spoon, so it is that our flesh gets stirred up every now and then and needs the filth and contaminants to be filtered (Romans 7:1-13). Our sins are paid for and the punishment/wrath averted, but our tendencies are still vulnerable to manipulation, temptation and persuasion. We are saved, but still sin/rebell. This is why 1 John 1:9 encourages us to keep-our-train-on-the-tracks with the Lord - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
However, God also strongly encourages us to practice confessing and forgiving with others, otherwise the picture gets muddied once again.
- Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. - James 5:16
- If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” - John 20:23
- For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. - Matthew 6:14-15
- Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. - Colossians 3:13