“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
― C.S. Lewis
This past week, I began reading a devotional about forgiveness. The author was explaining how so many people had hurt her in her past and it took her many years to realize that she was holding all of that hurt and bitterness inside of her. When she finally took time to forgive those who had hurt her, no matter how unforgivable she thought it was, she felt the bitterness and sadness leave her immediately. As I was reading this, it reminded me that I have even the hardest time forgiving someone when I feel that they have said something or done something towards me that was hurtful. However, as I read the quote above, it really hit me that if God can forgive us for every last wrong we have ever done, no matter how many times we have done it or how terrible it may seem, then I should truly be able to forgive someone else. During this moment of reflection, I realized that many scriptures in the bible deal with this subject, with one sticking with me the most:
“Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”
Basically, this scripture is saying no matter how many times a person does you wrong in a day, if they ask for forgiveness, then you have to forgive them. It seems that now and days, instead of forgiving someone, which I admit can be quite hard at times, it is much easier for people to just want to get even without addressing the issue at hand. Although getting even might bring just a little satisfaction, in the end, there is still a sense of hurt and bitterness left inside. In order to continue to grow as a person, we must be willing to forgive even what we think is unforgivable, even if it’s forgiving ourselves or our enemies.
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
― Steve Maraboli
By holding a grudge and not forgiving someone, you are hurting yourself not only emotionally but also physically. Research shows that holding a grudge for such a long period of time may eventually lead to depression or anxiousness as well as losing valuable and enriching connectedness with others. (www.mayoclinic.com). Whatever hurt you are feeling or grudge you find yourself holding, let it go! Just like the quote says above, by continuing to reflect on the situation and those involved, you are stalling yourself from moving forward.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
― Lewis B. Smedes
Although, it may be hard to get into the habit of forgiving people, just as the devotional said, we must continue to pray and ask God to give us a spirit of forgiveness so that whenever someone wrongs us, it comes as second-nature. When you are able to let go of the bitterness and hurt that someone has caused you, you will finally be able to move on so that you can continue to make dreams manifest for you. The quote below sums up forgiveness perfectly:
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.