Forgiveness is a letting go of past suffering and betrayal, a release of the burden of pain and hates that we carry. Forgiveness honors the heart’s greatest dignity. Whenever we are lost, it brings us back to the ground of love. With forgiveness, we become unwilling to attack or wish harm to another.
Whenever we forgive, in small ways at home, or in great ways between nations, we free ourselves from the past. Therefore, the art of forgiveness begins when you forgive someone.
Forgiveness is the ultimate pain reliever. Jesus taught that forgiving others is part and parcel of our own forgiveness:
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.… For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…
Matthew 6:12, 14–15, NKJV
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
Matthew 18:21–22, NKJV
Christ goes on to tell the story of a servant who owes his master a huge amount, yet whose master forgives him for it. But that servant refuses to forgive the debt of a fellow servant who owes him a much smaller amount. When the King discovers this he says,
“You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger, his master delivered him to the jailers until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.
Matthew 18:32–35, NKJV
Forgiveness is having a humble spirit and being done with pride and self-pity. It is taking a step toward the practice of forgiveness. Hate is death, forgiveness is life.
Forgiveness works the miracle of change. When Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies he replied: "If I make my enemies my friends, don't I then destroy them?" When you forgive you change others and you change yourself. You change discord to harmony.
Forgiveness should span the years. You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you've done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you've made. Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime.
Thus you release others and you release yourself. You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you. You free your mind from the burdens of the past so you may walk victoriously into the future.
Forgiveness works two ways. You must forgive to be forgiven. "He who cannot forgive others," wrote Edward Herbert, "breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass; for every man has the need to be forgiven."
Forgiveness Should Become a Habit
When the Jesus was asked how often we should forgive, he answered: "Until seventy time seven." He who forgives to infinity will never hate.
Forgiveness is the way to personal peace. It is performing mental surgery on yourself, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges, and resentments. It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.
It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals. It is discovering a serenity you've never known before.
In conclusion, forgiveness should start now. Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound. Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness. Life is short, time is fleeting. Today is the day to forgive.
Question: What steps do you take to control your thought and direct it toward positive thinking? Please leave a comment below.