Forgiveness means different things
to different people.
Generally, forgiveness involves a decision to
let go of resentment, hostility, negativity,
and thoughts that can have us so wrapped up
in stinking thinking that we can't enjoy the present.
We are often apprehensive about forgiving
because we feel that forgiveness means
we must once again
expose ourselves to the same toxic, mean-spirited,
destructive abusers... and trust them again.
To the contrary...
forgiveness doesn't mean denying reality.
Forgiveness is not forgetting the harm done to us.
It is not pretending it didn't happen or
making up with the person and
erasing the bitter past.
Forgiveness does not change the past.
It does not condone, excuse,
or declare one not-guilty of wrongdoing.
And it certainly does not delete the memory
or mean reconciliation.
Forgiveness does not justify the deed or the person,
it does not provide God's forgiveness for their actions,
because only God can do that.
God says it is in our own best interest to forgive! God is
not talking about what is in the best interest of the person
who needs to be forgiven. We are the ones who God is
trying to protect. We are the ones who receive the most
benefit from forgiveness, not the other person.
While nothing can undo the past,
by embracing forgiveness,
we can also realize peace of mind,
improved health and well being,
gratitude, and joy.
We can create a new way to remember
and do something about the condition of our own
present and future.
Forgiveness is based on
Forgiving others makes a way for our
own healing to begin.
Forgiving frees up our power and releases us
from a painful burden.
Forgiveness heals our soul.
It sets our mind and spirit free.
Forgiveness opens a pathway
to a new place of peace.
Forgiveness is something that takes
place between the one who has been
hurt and God.
our gracious forgiveness to someone...
can be a manipulation to make the hurt or offended person
feel guilty. It is also a form of pride.
Some people are notorious for saying the word “sorry”
almost like they mean it as a way to dismiss someone or
with the expectation that the hurt or offended person
will get over it quickly. They offer insincere apologies.
These insincere apologies turn into non-apologies...
which is a meaningless attempt to protect one's image by
heading off being blamed or criticized.
Their pseudo-apologies are attempts to "make nice", but
their hearts are not into it. They have nothing to do with
the offense or hurt inflicted on another. They apologize
to protect themselves and not take responsibility.
Such apologies miss the point.
Sometimes people can be so rigid and hardened
that they do not register others' pain.
Their apologies are not apologies at all.
A genuine apology is more than mouthing the words. It’s
registering the damage we’ve done. When our words, our
body language, and our tone of voice derive from a deep
recognition of the pain we’ve caused, true healing and
forgiveness become possible. We might say something
like, “I’m really sorry I did that” or “I can see how much
pain I caused you and I feel bad about that” rather than a
more cold, impersonal, and half-hearted, “I’m sorry if you
were offended by that.”
“Sorry” is related to the word “sorrow.”
A sincere apology includes feeling sorrow or remorse
for our actions.
Forgiveness may not lead to
a healed relationship and it does not mean
what happened was okay
or we need to welcome the person
back in our lives.
Forgiveness is a process,
and yes, we should be cautious of someone
who knew we would be hurt... and they did it anyway,
but in forgiving,
we learn about the heart of God.