Our thoughts are powerful.

We have about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. Did you know that?

That’s a huge span. For those of you on the 60,000 register, that means your brain rarely rests. But let me share something else I find fascinating. According to some researchers, as many as 98 percent of our thoughts are exactly the same as we had the day before.

If you are thinking positive thoughts, that’s pretty cool. If you are thinking about that insult someone made day after day, not so much. If you are waking up, going to bed, going about your day trapped in thoughts of revenge, anger, or rehearsing the hurts of the past, that’s pretty painful.

There was a time that my thoughts held me captive. When I prayed about it, God kept drawing me to the word forgive. When I asked people how to forgive, they would say things like, “Just do it.”

Hmm. Not so helpful.

So I began a deep study of the word forgive. I did it because I wanted my thoughts — and me — to be at peace and whole. I wanted to walk in freedom. I wanted to give my children a woman that wasn’t shackled to the past. As I studied, I discovered that forgiveness has many powerful meanings. These are only four of them:

To let go

To give generously/abundantly

To cover or find shelter

To cancel

To let go

As we forgive, we give it up and start to let it go. It allows us to leave one place to find another — to leave anger to find joy; to leave the past to live in the present; to leave behind the words or sinful actions of another to embrace who God says we are.

To give generously/abundantly

As we forgive, it’s a generous act. For some of us, forgiveness is something we can do by ourselves. The act was so wrong that it’s bigger than us. Yet as we hold up our hands to receive God’s mercy over our own heart, he helps us spill that over others.

Forgiving generously is not excusing wrong actions or sinful behavior. It’s not saying it’s OK. It’s not saying that this person doesn’t need to face the consequences of his or her behavior.

Instead, it’s releasing the power it holds over our heart. It’s surrendering to the good work that God wants to do in us, and maybe even through us. It’s placing that person in God’s hands and praying that they find his love, but no longer trying to fix, appease, punish, or be God in that person’s life.

[bctt tweet=”When we live as a debt collector, it’s usually the innocent that pay. #livingfreetogether #ComeWithMe #SpiritLedHeart https://wp.me/p4jbdw-1l” username=”suzanneeller”]

To cover or find shelter

This was a surprising gift of forgiveness. Much like tar poured over a roof, we are covered as we forgive. The rain no longer seeps in the cracks.

We find shelter to grow and discover who we are. To trust again. To open our lives to healthy risks and relationships. We walk, talk, and live as if we are sheltered in God’s love, for that is our truth.

To cancel

We are no longer debt collectors. We aren’t living our lives to collect, punish, or exact payment for wrongs, for the problem with living as a debt collector is that it’s usually the innocent that pay.

As we forgive, we give that job away for we have life to live. Things to do. Freedom to explore.

Why talk about this?

My whole theme this year, sweet friends, is “equipped.”

We often think of living equipped as what we put on, but sometimes it’s just as important what we allow God to remove.

If 98% of your thoughts are what you thought about yesterday, and the day before, and the years before that, it’s time to step into the new he has for you. Doing that equips you. It redefines you. It launches you into the person you were always meant to be.


What are you thinking?

That’s a hard question to answer, right? Yet it’s important to be honest with ourselves if we are thinking 98% of the negative we carried around the day before.

  • Ask God to shine a light on your thoughts.
  • Ask for help to redirect those thoughts.
  • Give yourself grace and time, but refuse thoughts that take you down a road you don’t want to go.
  • Celebrate those days that you see change and growth!

Related resource

If unforgiveness has tied your thoughts up in knots for far too long, there’s hope. The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness is gentle. It’s different as it doesn’t say, “Just forgive.” Instead, it leads you into the power and freedom of forgiving.

If you have been hurt by the action of others and cannot break free from the hurt and bitterness that takes over your life as a result , then grab this lifeline.  ~ Amazon reader review