An Advent Devotional from Seacoast Church
December 20

Choosing To Forgive

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)

As a teen, traveling the 100-mile stretch of road to my dad’s house to spend Christmas was not how I pictured a joyful holiday. I remember feeling angry and sad, wanting life to return to how it was before my parents’ divorce shattered so many things, including Christmas traditions. 

My grandmother was visiting for the holidays, and she was quick to recognize my pain—maybe because of her own. My grandfather had passed away a few years earlier, and my grandma was learning to adjust to her own new traditions. She offered me encouragement and we attended church together on Christmas Eve when no one else in the family was going that year. For me, it was in seeing her faith, that I began to move forward in forgiveness.

God places people in our lives to show us the love of Christ, to turn our hearts toward him, to help us practice forgiveness. In the Bible, God told Ananias that he was to go and minister to one of Christianity’s greatest enemies at the time: Saul (who would soon become Paul). Saul had been actively persecuting Christ-followers and Ananias had every reason to be afraid to go anywhere near Saul. Yet Ananias obeyed God and helped Saul who was temporarily blinded. Ananias helped change the trajectory of Paul’s life—and countless others across the generations—as Paul would later become an apostle of Jesus and write a significant portion of the New Testament. God, in his mercy and grace, chose to forgive Paul and send someone to help him heal. Just as God, in his great love, sent Jesus, as our Savior, to forgive and heal us for all-time.

Share with friends


  1. How can you come alongside someone who needs to be encouraged in their faith this Christmas?
  2. In what ways do you need to change course and begin going down the path toward healing?

Share Your Blessing

  1. Call your grandparents and tell them how much you appreciate them. If you aren’t able to do that, call someone who taught you forgiveness. Let them know they matter to you.
  2. Gather your family, small group, or a few friends to make Christmas cards, and deliver to a local nursing home for the staff to distribute to residents who don’t receive many this season.


Come experience one of our Christmas Eve candlelight services as we remember the birth of Jesus with music, a message, and fun.
See Service Times
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