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A Lesson On Forgiveness.

I've been giving some thought on this topic, especially since breaking things off with D. It's not a new topic for me. I've bumped up against this wall time and time again over the years and the older I've gotten, the more I've met this word, "forgive".

I've written this before in a previous post on the same subject, but what has always struck me about true forgiveness and the typical human interpretation of the same is that people so often perceive it as being the opposite of what it actually is. We do this with love also though, and with God, and with salvation and with almost every truly awesome and worthwhile thing we have been given in this life. It's the human way.

I think people mainly tend to think that forgiveness is something we give to others. That makes it's difficult, painful, and nearly impossible for us to actually forgive. The reason for that is probably because we tend to feel that forgiveness is something that people should "earn" or in some other way be deemed deserving of by the offended party. Either way, we're missing the point entirely. Forgiveness is not a thing we give to the one who hurt us. It is designed to be a gift we give to ourselves. It is the medicine that heals our wounds and allows us to get past the pain and move forward with our lives as a whole, healthy individual.

Forgiveness is also not merely for those we deem as being "deserving" of it. In truth, the less deserving the individual, the more need for forgiveness. It is when the offender is least worthy of forgiveness that we gain the most by giving it. Our personal pain is at its highest when we know that we didn't deserve the hurt and that the person who gave it to us simply doesn't care. If we can forgive in that moment, we can save ourselves potentially years of unnecessary heartache, because we will be rendering our offender powerless to continue controlling our lives even indirectly through their own apathy or sadism.

The more I've pondered these things, the more I've realized that I have little room to complain. When I've been forgiven of so much, I cannot hold such a small offense over the head of someone I actually truly cared for. Not because he is deserving of my forgiveness, but because I have the ability to take back the power I gave him in the first place. Will he ever know any of this? Probably not. Would he care if he did know? I highly doubt it. But in my own heart, between myself and God, I will have peace again.. and there is nothing more wonderful than being at peace after a storm blows through.

It's hard to take the high road but the end result is always a better you.

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. 
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.” - Mother Teresa

Intelligently Intelligently 31-35, F 2 Responses Sep 2, 2012

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The inverse relationship between the need to forgive and the worthiness of forgiveness is very counter-intuitive to me. When someone is undeserving and especially w/out a hint of repentance, forgiveness feels so empty. All I can think of is making him pay.

As you might have guessed, forgiveness never was my strong point. Thanks for sharing.

Great story. Unforgiveness causes anger, anger leads to bitterness and bitterness rooted inside you will make you a miserable person.