The Art Of Forgiving
“They have not said they are sorry so I will not forgive them”
“I want them to know I forgive them for what they did”
“They have not asked me to forgive them”
“They do not deserve forgiveness”
Have you ever heard people say those things above? I have and I imagine many on here reading have and it always makes me sad. The truth of the matter is, forgiveness is more for the person forgiving than it is for the one that did wrong. Now, if a person realizes they hurt you and tells you they are sorry and asks you to forgive them…that is one thing, but to hold on to the anger and the pain because you want to see them grovel and come begging and hurt like they hurt you before you will forgive is another.
image from https://www.facebook.com/AfriendofHumanity
Forgiveness is for peace of heart…it is so we can move on in life no matter what the other person does. Forgiveness is to free our hearts and help us let go of all that anger and hurt. No, a person does not have to know you forgive them unless they ask you to. Forgiveness is for your heart and for you and can be done in the privacy of your own home. No one has to know but it will sure show in you that you have forgiven others.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”—Mohandas Gandhi
Forgiving is not excusing what another person has done but rather saying I choose to forgive you and to let you go because I want my life back. I have watched people become filled with bitterness, anger and hatred because they refused to forgive and move on in their lives and it is sad. Holding on to anger and hurt is like putting a chain around your ankle with a heavy metal ball on the other end and dragging it around the rest of your life. You can never be free and it will consume you and hold you back from living a happy life.
This is what I saw just recently with the church in SC where nine people were killed in cold blood because of a young man’s racism and hatred. They were allowed to tell the man what they felt and what he had taken from them. Their last words, each one of them, were “But I forgive you”….”we forgive you”. Many have asked how these people could forgive that murderer. The truth is that they knew that this was the only way for them to heal. It was not saying what the man did was alright. It was not excusing him. It was saying they were not going to let him steal their joy in life and happiness by forgiving him. He might have stolen their loved ones but they know where their loved ones are and that is how they can forgive him. They know they will see their loved ones again one day.
Not only does an unforgiving heart affect you, your health and your life…it affects those around you. Whole families have become consumed with the anger and hatred and hurt until everyone in the family is destroyed and the person that hurt them has gone on their merry way. I personally choose forgiveness so that I can be the happy person I am and so that my heart can heal which enables me to move on in life.
There was a woman named Eva Kor who lost all of her family in the Holocaust and after years of hurt and anger, she decided one day that it had come time to forgive so that she could move on. She tried to get others from the Holocaust to do the same and tried to explain to them that it was for them, not those that killed their family members and tortured them, but many were unable to do that and remained bitter and hurt. Those people wondered how that woman could forgive something so horrific and move on in her life. It was because she chose to do it for her heart not for the ones running the camps and the leaders. She knew she had to free her heart from that hurt and anger so that she could enjoy what was left of her life. She rose above it just like the families in South Carolina. Eva’s story is on the link below. I urge you to click on the link and watch all the videos and read the story. It is an amazing act of forgiveness just like the families in South Carolina is.
Many people think that to forgive someone, the person who did them harm must be sorry and must tell them they are sorry. The truth of the matter is that person that hurt you may never tell you they are sorry and they may never think they were wrong. So, if you can forgive them….you can move on with your life. It does not matter what they do….it matters what you do for yourself. If you have someone you have not forgiven, try forgiving them today. Withholding forgiveness is like a heavy ball and chain and will drag you down and keep you in the pit of anger and resentment. It is baggage we do not need in this life and so much easier to forgive. Once you make the step, you will find your life is lightened tremendously and you can move forward.
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