Forgiveness is required of all of us....including forgiveness of self. This is easy for me to say now, after years of struggling with guilt, but only because I am finally beginning to understand God's infinite love.
So, instead of answering this prompt as it is written, I will tell you something I had a difficult time forgiving myself for. The "first thing that comes to my mind" in response to this prompt is my divorce. Naturally, after thinking it through, I can come up with several things that are less cliche' and definitely more profound, but there it is.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am exceedingly fulfilled, happy, and content with my life. But that fulfillment came with a heavy price tag. That's the nature of the beast. I regret that innocent lives were turned upside down and tender hearts broken as a result. Thankfully, the story didn't end there. God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, knows how to rebuild hearts, homes, families, lives.
It is said that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. My family is evidence that this is true. My children survived...In fact, they are like the Phoenix---they have overcome and risen above the wreckage. They are strong and determined, and their faithfulness is a constant source of inspiration to me.
I believe that mercy and grace go hand in hand. Forgiveness is a product of mercy, salvation a product of grace. God is the source of both. When you understand these principles, forgiveness is no longer optional; instead, it is the natural fruit born of faith.