What Forgiveness “IS”

                                               “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea                                                       until you have something to forgive.” C. S. Lewis.

Forgiveness is:  

Being aware of what someone has done and still forgiving them.  

It is a fact, we often avoid facing up to the wrong done, to keep ourselves from experiencing the pain. We want to sweep it under the carpet. But what we fail to recognize is, true forgiveness is often painful. It is painful to recognize what was done, and yet, still choosing to forgive, refusing to make the offender “pay.”

Choosing to keep no record of wrongs.  

Why do we keep track of the times we have been wronged? To prove we are right. To wave them in someone’s face. Well, that’s not forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice, a deliberate act of the will. It is a choice to tear up the record of wrongs before they become lodged in our hearts. This way resentment does not have a chance to grow. When we do this as a lifestyle, we not only avoid bitterness, we also begin to experience forgiveness as a feeling – a good feeling.

Refusing to punish those who deserve it.  

Forgiveness means giving up the natural desire to see the offender “get what’s coming to them.” We cannot bear the thought that someone who hurt us deeply would get away with what they have done. It seems so unfair! But, it’s not our job to punish, seek revenge, or harbour a personal grudge. It’s God’s prerogative to be free to decide what should be done. He doesn’t need our help. It’s our job to forgive.

Not telling what they did.  

There is often a need to talk to someone about how you have been hurt. This can be therapeutic, if it is done with the right person, and with the right attitude. If this is necessary, you need to choose wisely. You need to choose a person who is trustworthy, and who will keep a confidence, by never repeating your situation to those it does not concern. Anyone who forgives, does not talk about their offender or about what they did with others. If you share your pain and hurt with someone, examine your motives and be sure you aren’t doing it to punish anyone by making them look bad.

Until next time ..

 

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