Faith: Forgiveness is Necessary
Written by: Latrese Kabuya
Forgiveness isn't easy, but it's necessary! Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die or become sick.
I will be the first to admit, this has been something I really had to work on. I used to be what you would call a 'grudge holder'. However, I realized ME holding on to hurt and pain wasn't hurting anyone but myself. Grudges are toxic and they represent pain.
Grudges block the light of kindness from reaching our heart and prevent us from true healing.
Remember, forgiveness is something you do for YOU. It doesn't mean you are excusing the other person's actions. It doesn't even mean you shouldn't have feelings about the situation! But, by forgiving, you accept what has happened and you find a way to live in a state of resolution and peace within yourself. This doesn't happen overnight. It's a gradual process.
I believe many have a misconception of what forgiveness is and that's why it's so hard to forgive. I know I did! I felt if I forgave, it meant that I was approving of the behavior of the other person or that my feelings didn't count. I thought if I forgave, it meant the other person wouldn't accept the responsibility of their wrong.
When someone hurts you, it's normal to hold on to feelings of anger and resentment and to want revenge. Our anger makes us feel justified and it prevents us from healing. You may feel like you can't forgive. I've been there. But trust me. YOU CAN. It's a vital part of your healing process. See, when you heal -- it keeps you focused on what is important and that is YOU.
With the help of God, all things are possible. Even forgiveness. Here are some steps I have used on the road to healing and forgiving:
First, I'm honest about the offense -- that it did happen and that my feelings are important. You don't have to be passive aggressive and pretend it didn't happen or that it didn't hurt you. You are human. God has given you emotions and feelings for a reason.
Next, I figure out what I needed to learn from it. There is always a lesson if you open your spiritual eyes to it. Whether it's boundaries I need to place in a relationship or maybe there's something about myself I need to deal with! I remind myself all of the time... I'm stronger than I think and I survived this situation for a reason.
I also decide whether or not I need to tell the offender that I have forgiven him or her. If I don't do it directly, I speak the words out loud. 'I forgive (him/her)'.
Lastly, I remind myself how I want to be forgiven when I wrong someone or just the fact that God forgives me every single day. Every hour. Every minute. How much more should I forgive when my Father forgives me?
Forgiveness will allow you to not feel bound by the actions of someone else. Forgiving the other person also shows how much you love yourself. It affirms that you know how important your emotional and mental state is and that you won't give that up to anyone.
Forgiveness is necessary and with God's help, all things are possible. Even forgiveness.
God is doing something great in you, for you and through you.