Friday, June 15, 2012

On Forgiveness...

"To forgive is not to condone the offense, to say it made no difference, or to license its repetition. Rather, forgiveness is a decision to no longer hold an offense against another group or person. It's a choice, just like love. Choose wisely!" ~Robin Harford

Forgiveness is something I struggle with ever so often. One of the joys of letting few people close is that those who do, get really close and so have amazing power to hurt you. 

Another thing that brings me to the forgiveness struggle over and over is my need to understand things to let it go. When I have been hurt or let down, what caused me the most anguish was the 'Why?'.

For this reason, I am convinced that breaking up with someone without telling them exactly why you broke up with them is tantamount to emotional terrorism... but I digress.

So yeah, the forgiveness thing is not my forte and even less so is the forgetting part. And God being the patient teacher, time and again, I have been reminded of things that make nonsense of holding grudges.

1) Nobody can nor will wrong me to the extent that I wrong God. And if He forgives...

2) No matter how badly someone wrongs me, God wont stay mad at them because I haven't let it go. When they repent, He will forgive them. And will not withhold His blessings from them just cos I said so.

3) Whether we understand the actions of others or not, we are solely responsible for how we choose to process and react to them.

While the first one cannot really be debated, or at least elicits very little debate from me, the second and third have struck close to home a couple of times. 

When you seek closure from a past hurt and you realize your past tormentor doesn't remember and has changed and so feels bad and apologizes although they don't remember, you realize how futile holding on to past hurt and grudges are. You're often the only one who suffers... and remembers.

Makes you wonder who you hurt and may not even remember, doesn't it?

When you see a friend's ex who was cheating with like ten different girls become a pastor and marry an amazing minister of God, and go on to have an awesome life while your friend still harbors some resentment, you realize how God isn't waiting for your forgiveness to bless someone.

And even when they don't change but remember and feel no remorse, you see them later on and realize that allowing their decision to be deliberately evil to affect your soul is a complete waste of time and emotional resources.

And you realize how although the starting quote said it was a choice, it's a necessary choice.

How do you handle forgiveness? What makes it easier?


  1. After giving it some thought, I think my terrible memory makes it easy for me to forgive and let go. I'm real easy-going so I tend to ignore little transgressions. Mid-size ones, tend to slip by easily with time as more fun thoughts of life build in my mind. When I get hurt real bad, and that is very very rare, poor sap gets cut off completely, and life goes on. I accept that people do what they want to do so I don't burden myself with trying to figure out "why?".

  2. I've just come to accept that life is too short to hold grudges. I make my peace, and I move on. Forgiveness is more about yourself than the other person.

  3. Last week I called up a friend who our friendship ended badly 2 years ago. It was a relief saying 'I'm sorry please forgive me.'
    I felt free.
    I normally forget and then forgive. weird I know

  4. it really is an attribute of the strong coz its not an easy thing to do but must be done for well being..

  5. I forgive only if I can most times I blank out whatever happened from my memory, this is something I do unconsciously. I do not waste my time holding a grudge, it gives me headache.