Forgiveness is defined as the intentional and voluntary


process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings


and attitude regarding an offense. 


It is letting go of negative emotions such as vengefulness,


with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends,

 

but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written:


 ‘It is mine to avenge; 


I will repay,’ says the Lord.” 


Romans 12:19 

We are often apprehensive 


about forgiving


 because we feel that forgiveness


means we must once again 


expose ourselves 


to the same obnoxious, toxic, 


mean-spirited, destructive abusers...


and trust them again.


 

To the contrary... 


forgiveness does not mean 


denying reality... 


forgiveness is based on grace. 


Trust... is something one must earn.



Yes, we should be cautious of someone


 who knew we would be hurt... 


and they did it anyway!

Forgiving someone doesn’t excuse that person 


or declare that person is not guilty of wrongdoing.

Calling someone to forgiveness is not a license 


to be nebulous with the interpretation of a situation.


Forgiveness does not mean instant reconciliation.


Forgiveness and reconciliation are two separate things. 


We can (and should) forgive those who sin against us.


Forgiveness is something that takes place between 


the one who has been hurt and God.


Sometimes it is best to forgive that person in your heart...


before God.


We don't always have to tell them 


we have forgiven them.

 

Self-righteously announcing 


our gracious forgiveness to someone

 

who has not asked to be forgiven

 

may be a manipulation to make them feel guilty. 


It also is a form of pride.



We forgive, not to set the other person free – 


only God can save people. 


We forgive because God wants to set us free!


Here’s the conventional way of thinking:


When someone does something that is hurtful to us,


 people on the sidelines can be quick to expect that


we need to forgive and forget... all is well... 


and we can go back to business as usual.


They are quick to assume...


 if the offender is not sorry or continues to hurt us, 


our job is to overlook everything and turn the other cheek.

We can forgive someone


 even if we never can 


get along with them again.

Forgiveness does not change the past, 


but in forgiving, we learn about the heart of God...


forgiveness is a central part of God’s heart.



We might be completely justified on a human level to be


upset, angry, and embittered, 


but those feelings, emotions, 


and anger is not what God intended for our souls.



Let us forgive 


so that we can, whole-heartedly walk in our calling.



Forgiveness 


does not involve the other person, exclusively.


Forgiving means the healing of our soul.

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