14 Ways to Understand Forgiveness
Forgiveness actually has nothing whatsoever to do with the other person, Forgiveness has everything to do with the person giving the forgiveness. It is a decision we make for ourselves. We tend to think of forgiveness as an act of kindness that we choose to give to someone. In fact, that someone isn’t the other person we are forgiving, but ourselves…it is an act of kindness for our own well being.
We must learn to forgive so we can get well and move on.
Don’t be a victim, free yourself. A free person must act freely, openly, compassionately, lovingly. A victimized person claims the right to be angry. Some tend to spend a great deal of their time being angry, frustrated and in denial. These feelings have been experienced for so long, that they feel comfortable, familiar and un-ulterable. And being a victim there is nothing that can be done about it…”I’ll just grin and bear it.” But, it doesn’t have to be that way, by forgiving others we free ourselves. We need to be free so we can breathe and move on.
Forgiving is a gift for us. Forgiveness will help us stop judging and condemning. Forgiving is not for the benefit of others. forgiveness is for US.
When someone has treated us unjustly we place judgement on them, we condemn them, place them beneath us, separate from us. Judgements against another has no effect on them, but it has serious effects on us. Judgements are actually condemnations. Condemnation is like a prophecy and prophecy is defined as a verbal utterance and goes out into the universe attracting witnesses to its content. A judgement against someone, a condemnation of someone, believing someone has done us wrong, these things are all prophecies even though they weren’t spoken. They were thoughts and so they have effects just like a prophecy does. The Law of Attraction is at work here.
So when we believe that someone has “done me wrong”, we have judged that person, we have condemned them. The prophecy may have no effect on them who it was directed to, but, it does have a significant effect on us, by this prophecy we have proclaimed ourselves judge, jury and executioner. Forgiveness is the only way out. This is the real power of forgiveness. Forgiveness offers opportunity to free the world from our own condemnation of it. Forgiveness free us from the world and the people that we have condemned by our judgement against them.
As we have judged/condemned them, we have judged & condemned ourselves as well.
Do not judge, & you will not be judged. Do not condemn, & you will not be condemned. Forgive, & you will be forgiven. Jesus has commanded us to forgive, if we do not forgive other, God will not be just in forgiving us. Forgiveness is a choice, a decision we make. As we begin to forgive, we discover the command in place for our own good. We receive the reward of our forgiveness of others….FREEDOM!
Nearly all of us have been hurt by the actions or words of another. Maybe your mother criticized your parenting skills, or your partner had an affair.
These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance — but if you don’t practice forgiveness, you can be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical,emotional and spiritual well-being.
The Mayo Clinic defines the benefits of forgiving as…
Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace.
Forgiveness can lead to:
Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
Less anxiety, stress and hostility
Lower blood pressure
Fewer symptoms of depression
Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse
Stop holding a grudge and let it go…You can pay a very high price for holding onto resentment anger, & bitterness. all that you are holding onto will follow you everywhere & into every relationship. You can get so wrapped up in the past that you can’t enjoy the present. It can make you feel worthless and make you feel like you are stuck and don’t know which way to turn.
When you can reach a state of forgiveness, when you can move from the role of victim, that is when your life will make a turn or the better..and you will finally be able to breathe.
Prayer is one of the best ways to break down the walls of unforgiveness in your heart. When you pray for the person who has hurt you, God will give you new eyes to see. As you you pray, you can start to see that person as God sees them, & to realize that “WE” are “ALL” precious to Him.
You may also begin to see your life with new eyes & see that you may be just as guilty of sin & failure as the other person. And you too will need forgiveness from God & yourself.
God has never withheld his forgiveness from anyone, so why should we withhold forgiveness from others. Especially if it is to benefit us and our lives & it is what God wants us to do.
Wikipedia definition of forgiveness….
Forgiveness is the renunciation or cessation of resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, disagreement, or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as ‘to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt’. The concept and benefits of forgiveness have been explored in religious thought, the social sciences and medicine. Forgiveness may be considered simply in terms of the person who forgives including forgiving themselves, in terms of the person forgiven or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven. In most contexts, forgiveness is granted without any expectation of restorative justice, and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is incommunicado or dead).
In practical terms, it may be necessary for the offender to offer some form of acknowledgment, an apology, or even just ask for forgiveness, in order for the wronged person to believe himself able to forgive.
Most world religions include teachings on the nature of forgiveness, and many of these teachings provide an underlying basis for many varying modern day traditions and practices of forgiveness. Some religious doctrines or philosophies place greater emphasis on the need for humans to find some sort of divine forgiveness for their own shortcomings, others place greater emphasis on the need for humans to practice forgiveness of one another, yet others make little or no distinction between human and divine forgiveness.
We always seek approval from others when they reject us it hurts. If you take your eyes off of God & his acceptance & putting then on conditional acceptance of the people in our lives such as a spouse, friend , family or boss we set ourselves up for hurt. We forget that other people are incapable of unconditional love.
If someone criticizes you & their criticism is correct, it still hurts…it may tell you that you have failed in some way or that you have not measured up. But sometimes people have ulterior motives, they like to make people feel bad so that they can make themselves feel good. It is easy to forget that others are broken just like we are. No one is perfect. When we have been hurt, our instinct is to make the other person pay for what they have done.
Romans 12:19…Paul writes…
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.
This to me is the definition of Karma.
Refusing to forgive leaves an open wound in our soul that will fester into bitterness, resentment & depression. For our own Good, we must forgive. God will heal our wounds so that we may move on.
Charles Stanley says…
We are to forgive so that we may enjoy God’s goodness without feeling the weight of anger burning deep within our hearts. Forgiveness does not mean we recant the fact that what happened to us was wrong. Instead, we roll our burdens onto the Lord & allow Him to carry them for us. The only way we can truly forgive is by completely trusting in God.
There is one little secret behind forgiveness…you have to free your mind before you can forgive…if you are still dwelling on the hurt of what happened the actual act of betrayal then you have not forgiven anything. You cannot continually think about the hurt & have forgiven–the statement “Forgive & forget” comes from God. When he forgives you He no longer remembers the transgression…he erases it from his memory. That is what we are to do as well. When you truly forgive you remember nothing about was wrongly done to you. You forgive and move on…you remember no more. Easier said than done I know. Sometimes you want to hold onto the pain and the anger but that is what your EGO wants…you are letting your EGO get in the way of your healing and what God says is the right thing to do. So you need to take the “E” out of EGO and let it “GO.”
Learning to let it go.
You have to reach a point in your life where you want better for yourself…you want to feel better, be better, act better, live better, & Love better. But the only way to get there is to release all the anger and bitterness you’ve been holding onto for so long.
A great way to do this is learning a form of meditation…this is a great way to stop your mind from working double time & constantly dwelling on the hurt and the anger. You first have to stop your mind from thinking so much before you can forgive…because if you think you have forgiven but yet your mind is still thinking of all the hurt and the betrayal then you have not forgiven at all.
The best form of meditation is a breathing exercise. Start by sitting or laying whichever is most comfortable for you. Start to relax your body as if your going to sleep…just be there in the moment for a bit, then start to count your breaths, concentrate on each and every breath…try to clear your mind think of nothing but breathing. If a thought enters your mind, acknowledge it and then let it go and return to your breathing..counting each breath. Do this for as long as you can usually 10-20 minutes.
This is a simple yet very effective tool for learning to stop your mind from controlling you. For every thought of hatred, anger, hurt, pain, bitterness…you can learn to move them from your mind.
As you progress & the thoughts are fewer & fewer you can begin the forgiveness process. Your life will no longer be defined by your thoughts. The resentment that you have been holding on to will disappear.
You will have more compassion and understanding. You will be FREE.
I am happy
I am Free
I have released the pain
that others have caused me!
Repeat this Mantra daily!
Lewis B. Smedes wrote…
When you release the wrong doer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was “you.”
Forgiveness can be a slow process. You will know when forgiveness is complete…when you experience the freedom that comes after…the moment you can take a deep breath and relax and your mind is clear.
Matthew 18:21-22..Peter asks Jesus
“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
We forgive by faith, out of obedience. Since forgiveness goes against our nature (our EGO), we must forgive by faith, whether we feel like it or not. We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
We will always be growing and learning and teaching and forgiving until the day we leave this world. God wants us to live a wonderful life…so why destroy it by holding onto resentment and not forgiving…that is not what God wants for us. That is not what we should want for ourselves either.