Forgiving is, FOR GIVING !

Forgiveness is a tricky thing, and yet so simple and so difficult at the same time.  So, what exactly is forgiveness?  Have is the benefit and why should we care ?   Is there some magical formula ?  And, what if  ” I just can’t get there right now “?

There are so many questions for such a simple concept.  The problem is that before the forgiveness occurs there was pain !  There was some type of wrong done to you, or by you to some one close to you that you care about.  That thing what ever or who ever it was caused you some type of pain.  Commission, or omission, the pain that was either physical, emotional or spiritual, the fact is that it started somewhere with someone.  The action originated with a person.  With that person comes emotions , feelings, history, baggage and all these things that make us all human.   Multiply these concepts by at least two for the number of people involved.

In a sense, forgiveness will come in three parts.  First let go of the emotion, the pain, the hate.  The negative emotions and feelings are the fog between your mind and your heart.  Emotion keeps us from seeing clearly.   Second, to deal with the “other”.   Try to figure out what happened and why if you don’t know already.  In truth you may not find a logical conclusion  to this part but trying to understand the why may help  in the process. The last part is to actually ask for, or to give forgiveness to the “other” involved. 

There are TONS of medical journals with studies that show that people who let go these negative emotions live happier and longer lives.    The Bible is replete with examples of forgiveness, all to give us examples to help us on the journey to forgiveness.  In addition we have a directive from God to forgive !  In the praying the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to “Forgive us our trespasses” , but there is that whole other part ” as we forgive those who trespass against us “.. Therein lies the catch.  If we expect mercy and forgiveness from others, then we need to be willing and able to forgive others for the wrongs or perceived wrongs they have done.

So maybe you are at a place in your life, or your situation that leads you to say to yourself ” I will forgive , for my own peace of mind.. that way I can forget about that and move on !”..  Possibly this is as far as you can get in forgiveness for the moment.  The problem with this is that it is more like avoidance than forgiveness.  This process is turning inward towards oneself.  for the benefit of self, and does nothing for the “other”.

 

True forgiveness comes from the place in your heart where you can forgive for the sake of the “other” , for their peace, and their growth.   We have heard people say they ” will forgive, but won’t forget”..  This is a place spoken from brokenness and pain that is not so much forgiveness , as an attempt to avoid dealing with that brokenness.

 

Now you may not be the one who needs to forgive, but who is seeking forgiveness.  You should ask for forgiveness and seek to amek what ever reparations you are able to make.    You might think to yourself ” They will never forgive me” or ” I  just cant fix this !”.. Your temptation might be to walk away and forget about it.  Your attempt to seek forgiveness with a contrite heart is a powerful gift and statement.  Attempting to fix what ever is wrong not only shows the other that you are truly sorry, but will speak volumes about your commitment and character. 

This next part is important for the one asking for forgiveness.  You may be asking yourself  ” What happens if they don’t forgive me “?   

One day a young man in school wanted to ask a girl out to the school dance.   He did not want to ask the girl for fear of looking foolish in front of the girl and her friends.   His brother said ” Look, what is the worst that could happen if you ask her ?”  the young man replied ” She could say NO, and I could look stupid in front of her and her friends”.. The brother said ” RIGHT , she could say no, then you walk away and let it go… BUT if she says YES.. then you have a nice night out… GO ASK “!.

If you ask forgiveness you might get rejected.  You need to understand that the “other”  might not be ready, they may not be past the cloud of emotions that allow them to see clearly.   The important parts are that you asked. and you do all you can to fix or restore things to where they were before the break if possible.  you need to be able to accept this possibility and let that go and move forward.

 

There is one last thing in forgiveness that is very important and that is the ability to forgive oneself.  Maybe you have not done something or did something you are not particularly proud of  or promised you would do or would not do and you fall short of that promise.   The point is that people can tell you how you need to ” just get over it” , but it wont work until you forgive yourself.  The same thing applies , you need to do what you can to fix the issue, and then forgive yourself.  The old saying hold true in all cases… ” Its not what you do…. but what you do next ” ! 

ALL sin and fall short of the glory of God !..  Since we call sin.. we all need to forgive.. Forgiveness is like love.. it means nothing until you give it away. 

And remember  Forgiving is ……. FOR GIVING 

 

 

 

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