Today begins my week of giving thanks. I am first and foremost thankful for forgiveness.
God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for me, and even though I chose to mock Him anyway, He forgave me. Jesus forgave me, even though He willingly died, taking my sin upon Himself, and I, knowing and believing that, choose to sin anyway. Dwell on that for a moment. One chose to send His only Son to die for a world that mocks Him, turns their backs on Him. One chose to willingly give His own life as payment for our sins, and we still choose sin over Him. If you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior, and have knowingly and willingly chosen to step into a "big" sin, and have at some point, experienced true repentance, you too are overwhelmingly thankful for His forgiveness. Blessed are those who grasp forgiveness without ever having brought upon themselves the guilt and shame of one of the "big" sins to finally make them understand it.
I am overwhelmingly grateful for my husband's forgiveness. There were times he would've been completely justified in walking out on me. Yet, he stayed. He loves me unconditionally, and forgives me with no strings attached. If not for him, I'm not sure I'd have ever had the tiniest inkling of what it is to grasp God's forgiveness. He offered me forgiveness in a circumstance that if I had been in his shoes, I'm not sure I would've offered it.
I am thankful for forgiving friends. Those kinds of people are few and far between, but when you find them, hold onto them! And be willing to forgive them when needed! If not for a few forgiving friends who kept open ears, held my secrets, and offered wise counsel, I would've never learned what it is to reach out and be a friend to those who--according to the world, the judgmental and the legalistic--don't deserve it. Those friends will forever hold a special place in my heart.
What are you first and foremost thankful for?