CHRISTMAS!  The word evokes many feelings, depending on our experiences. For some, Christmas is a happy time, filled with beautiful memories and joyful expectations. For others, Christmas is a depressing time, a season one wants “to get over with” as quickly as possible because of bad memories associated with this time of year.

Having ministered to people for many years, I have come to the conclusion that depressing memories at Christmas time are most often related to problems of unforgiveness. Hurts from the past become more pronounced during the Christmas season, but the reason those hurts still affect us is that we have not let go of the bitterness associated with them. In short, we have not forgiven the people who have hurt us.

Why do most people have such a difficult time forgiving? I believe the main reason is that they do not understand what forgiveness really means. If you are one of those people, what follows may help you:

LET’S LOOK AT WHAT FORGIVENESS IS NOT:

  • Forgiveness is NOT letting someone off the hook.
  • Forgiveness is NOT condoning evil.
  • Forgiven is NOT being a doormat.
  • Forgiveness is NOT having to trust again the person who hurt you.
  • Forgiveness is NOT a feeling.
  • Forgiveness is NOT an option.

NOW LET’S LOOK AT WHAT FORGIVENESS IS:

  • Forgiveness IS taking the person who hurt you off of your hook and placing him on God’s hook, then praying that God will have mercy on him.
  • Forgiveness IS acknowledging that evil was done but choosing to bear the consequences of that evil without retaliation.
  • Forgiveness IS taking charge of your emotions.
  • Forgiveness IS setting boundaries with the person who hurt you, even refusing temporary or permanent interaction with that person, if necessary. An example would be a wife who is being beaten by her husband.
  • Forgiveness IS a decision.
  • Forgiveness IS obedience to God’s commandment to forgive.

No matter how badly you have been hurt, choose to forgive. It’s the best thing you can do for your own well-being. Unforgiveness chains you emotionally to the person who hurt you. Forgiveness breaks that chain and sets you free.

What better time is there than the Christmas season to forgive those who have hurt us? The very essence of Christmas is the truth that God forgave humanity through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Who are we not to forgive when God has forgiven us?

So this Christmas, forgive! But don’t just forgive. Ask to be forgiven. As the Word of God tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All of us need not only to forgive but also to be forgiven.  And as long as we are on this earth, it is never too late to forgive or to be forgiven.

For a heartwarming, compelling story on the power of forgiveness, you may wish to read my new novella entitled A Christmas Homecoming.  It is available in electronic format for your Kindle, Nook, or iPad.  To view the beautiful book trailer of A Christmas Homecoming, click hereLast, but not least, may you forge happy memories this Christmas season as the power of forgiveness sets you free!

Reprinted by permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio.

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

The Italian Chronicles cover

The Italian Chronicles

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a widely published, award-winning author of compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. Her latest work of fiction is a trilogy set in 19th-century Sicily and titled The Italian Chronicles. MaryAnn and her husband Dom reside in New Jersey. They are the blessed parents of two adult daughters and the grandparents of six rambunctious grandchildren. In her spare time, MaryAnn loves to paint in acrylics and oils.

 

 

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Your Words Matter

MaryAnn Diorio

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

 

“I believed, and therefore I have spoken . . . .”
(2 Corinthians 4: 13)

If you want to know what you believe, listen to what you say. Your words reveal what is in your heart, for the Word of God says that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12: 34).

God created the entire universe with words. Made in His image, we create our personal universe with our words.

So, what words are you speaking?

For the next 24 hours, listen closely to what you are saying. Are you speaking words of life or words of death? Are you speaking words that build or words that destroy? Are you speaking words that heal or words that wound?

Your words control your destiny. The Bible tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18: 21). The words you choose to speak will create your future. Just as God created the universe with words, so do we create our future with words.

Choose now to speak only words of life. In so doing, you will be imitating your Father in Heaven.

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Copyright 2005-2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio writes riveting, compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. Her latest novel, RETURN TO BELLA, is Book 3 in The Italian Chronicles Trilogy and is scheduled for release in December 2017. You may learn more about MaryAnn at her two websites: www.maryanndiorio.com and www.maryanndiorioministries.com.

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Candle Love_Diorio

 

 

Four-year-old Keisha has a new baby sister. But Keisha does not want a new baby sister. Keisha is afraid that Mama will love Baby Tamara more than Mama loves her. When Mama shows Keisha three special candles, Keisha learns that there is always enough love for everyone because the more one shares love, the more love grows.

 

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Toby Too Small

 

 

 

Five-year-old Toby Michaels is small, too small to be of much good to anyone. But one day, Toby discovers that it’s not how big you are on the outside that matters; it’s how big you are on the inside. Read More →

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Author Photo - SmallWe writers have a tremendous responsibility to write the truth. Look at what has happened to our country because the media, as a group, has refused to write and speak the truth. This failure to write and speak the truth has brought our great country to the brink of tyranny.

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