Have you ever been offended?
Were you able to ‘forgive’?
Was it easy to do that?
What did you find most difficult about the process of forgiving?
Think of the very worst thing a person can do to you,
Do you think you have the capacity to forgive that kind of offense?
The world of forgiveness is as vast as mankind. There’s no exhausting it.
As we walk through this series, we must submit and surrender our hearts to be worked on, because, you just might find out that ‘unforgiveness’ is still very much inside of us, only untriggered.
WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
It is generally defined as a conscious, deliberate DECISION to release feelings of resentments or vengeance towards a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
Hearing this, doesn’t it upset your sense of justice? I know it does mine. There is this desperate need or tendency in us as humans to seek for justice or retribution, in fact, without mincing words, it does bring healing. Without justice, your heart cannot find rest and therefore you cannot heal from the hurt. Forgiveness involves finding another way to heal without fighting back.
Forgiveness is a choice you make for yourself and to your own benefit. It is very independent of the actions of the other offender, this means it doesn’t have to take the offender being remorseful first. And mind you, one choice doesn’t cover all. You have to choose to forgive over and over again.
Now, this forgiveness, do you think we have been doing it right?
We have to first look at the things that forgiveness isn’t.
- Forgiveness is not denying or ignoring the reality of the offence; in order to forgive, you must acknowledge the hurt and negative feeling before you can let go of it. So living in denial of an offence is not really forgiveness.
- Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. There is a reason why ‘forgive and forget’ are two different instructions. One(forgive) must precede the other(forget). you don’t put the cart before the horse. If you try to forget without forgiving, sighting the object of offence will bring you right back to the beginning. Forgiveness gives the ability to be around the object of offence without lingering resentment.
- Forgiveness is not excusing the action. The difference in this case might be very subtle, but we must know that condoning the actions that offended us is not the same as forgiving that. Excusing has its elastic limit and also strips us of the ability to completely let go of resentment, rather it hoards it and we release it when we can’t take it anymore.
Knowing these, as we gradually explore this vast universe of forgiveness, may our hearts be open to change.