By Nichole Burke

Motivation comes in all sorts of forms as we strive to become our best selves. The power to become better, to grow and to strive for success has been studied greatly. When asked what it takes to reach that place of “better” or “success” we often think of the standard answers like never giving up, get up early, work hard, etc., but recently a new step has been mulling around in my mind, forgiveness.


Forgiveness is often talked about in order to heal relationships, to become “a better Christian” etc., but rarely is it talked about as a means to grow as an individual. To fully understand forgiveness we need to acknowledge the hold that anger can have on us. When we hold on to anger we are holding on to the past. We are reliving moments in which wrongs were committed and replaying them over and over, this lessens the space within our minds and hearts needed for future actions and relationships. 

When we are holding onto anger we are giving that anger the power to control our thoughts and actions, something that the enemy thrives on. No longer are we fully trusting in ourselves, our relationships, or in God.

Forgiveness puts the power fully in our hands. It creates a space in which a new future can be created, and points to the capacity we have to reach out beyond ourselves.

David Cunningham

Forgiveness is one of those things that is so much easier said than done, I think that is something we all can agree on. I wish I could give you some magical formula right here that would make it just a simple step along our path, but there isn’t one. Instead, forgiveness is one of those steps in life that require what all steps to greatness require; determination and constant effort. 

Some of the best advice I heard on this was simple; practice small steps of forgiveness every day. For example, if someone is rude or cuts you off in traffic, use that moment to recognize the wrong, realize it wasn’t directed at you personally, and forgive him or her on the spot. This way you also can learn to immediately stop the negative reaction and the feelings that come with it, you are utilizing that power within and taking control of your thoughts and actions. As a mom that seems to be a part time taxi driver, I loved this example; it shows my kids that I can stay level headed and not react blindly to others (I’m guessing I am not the only mom here constantly trying to teach my kids not to react to their siblings).


No matter your path in life, we are all seeking to grow and become better humans. That growth requires a freedom in this life that anger does not allow for. Forgive, let go, and soar. 


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