It all started with a post and picture on Facebook that looked like this:
A #happy #relationship is made up of two good forgivers.
AND “forgiving” means that you do not keep bringing it up over and over again. If you forgive, let it go and never mention it again.
Some of the comments posted on that Facebook entry are as follows:
Kimberly Kimbrough Mills: Amen! Totally agree, glad I have a forgiver.
Darrell Browning: Amen!!!
Kenny Sellards: Agreed! (including the addendum!)
Connie Livingston: Because when you love someone that much, crap doesn’t matter!
Pamela Taylor: Couldn’t have said it any better, especially in our relationship. It is so much better now that we have talked and have forgiven each other for things that happened while we were separated. Looking forward to a better life and taking one day at a time.
Obviously, I’m not the only one who believes this forgiveness concept to be true.
Like A Broken Record
I specifically want to reiterate the second part of my Facebook posting…
“‘Forgiving’ means that you do not keep bringing it up over and over again. If you forgive, let it go and never mention it again.”
When you REALLY love someone, you don’t want to hurt them. However, we are all human and fallible, so we will most assuredly make mistakes. If you do hurt someone or “do them wrong,” the only way to get past it is to ask for their forgiveness, change your actions and try to make recompense if possible.
From the other perspective, sometimes the person that hurt you can’t undo what they did that caused you pain or hardship. If you are going to forgive the wrong-doer, you have to simply let it go. Let the person confess whatever details of the pain or wrong they caused and give back to you whatever possible, but you have to let the rest go. If you are unwilling to do the letting go part, you should not stay with the person or have them in your life. To constantly remind someone of their wrongdoing and throw it in their face AFTER they have tried to obtain forgiveness is WRONG.
Did you catch what I just wrote?
If you are unwilling to do the letting go part so you can forgive, you should not stay with the person or have them in your life. To constantly remind someone of their wrongdoing and throw it in their face AFTER they have tried to obtain forgiveness is WRONG.
Not to get all preachy, but if you are a Christian, there are actually several scriptures in the Bible that tell you how wrong you are to continually berate the other person. The first is found in Mark 11:26.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
The same message is stated again in Matthew 6:15.
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
You might be thinking that this concept pertains to just a few wrongs or a few type of wrong doings, but it applies to everything as stated in Matthew 12:31.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.
So my point is the same point I’ve been making ever since the time when my daughter lay in a coma in the hospital with one foot through death’s door…
Nothing matters except love.
Love includes a sincere desire to be forgiven and a no strings attached forgiveness of others. Of course, “others” MOST ESPECIALLY means the people we love and spend our days and nights.
Think about it from the view of the forgiver. Do you think that lashing out daily by reminding the person of all their wrongs makes you right or a good person? Do you think it is okay to say those things that cause the person pain and hurts them? Do you see yourself blameless so that you have the right to constantly berate and remind the other person of their wrongs? Are you perfect? Do you think your actions have ever caused anyone else pain or unhappiness? If you are a Christian, I thought the only person without sin was Jesus, so are you another Jesus that we haven’t heard about? All these questions are meant to pique your conscience and the last one was a bit sarcastic.
If you are harboring pain and/or anger that won’t let you get past the wrong that someone has done to you, go to therapy. Let it all out…the pain, the anger and the unfairness of it all. Talk it out so that you can obtain the feeling of being HEARD and UNDERSTOOD. It is not always possible or necessary to talk to the person that did you wrong because they might have died or are just not in touch, but you can verbalize your emotions on a piece of paper and then shred it or burn it. The actual physical act of writing it and destroying it is therapeutic. After all, it is your responsibility to just let the whole mess go.
I know it is not simple.
Seriously, I know it is hard to forgive some people sometimes. I’ve been there and I’ve learned some very important lessons that will last throughout my life.
I’ve told you about my experience as a child with my dad, so I won’t repeat it again. It is sufficient to say that those experiences with him were huge life changing, character molding events for me. However…
It’s more like HOWEVER!!!!!!!!!
Keep that punctuation in mind as you read the next sentence.
However, it is IMPERATIVE that you forgive others and ask for forgiveness from others because it is the only way you will ever find peace.
Revenge Is Mine
“Forgiveness? Oh hog wash! Revenge will let you find peace!”
I know that millions of people believe in revenge. They don’t just want revenge, it is part of their belief system. For instance, many of the people of Iraq do not believe in forgiveness. They have a culture founded on revenge and they live it as a fundamental belief of existing.
You do not have to have a hard, bitter and constantly wounded heart if you choose not to have one.
Giving people a taste of their own medicine really isn’t going to get you ahead of the uncomfortable or bad feelings that you harbor. You can move through the feelings of anguish to peace without revenge even if your history or the history of your people is based on revenge.
Adding fuel to the fire never makes the fire go out. It burns and burns until it will turn you into ashes. You into ashes NOT the other person.
Why don’t you want to forgive and why do you feel that you need to inflict some revenge on the person who has offended, dishonored, slighted, caused you pain or ripped you off?
There are many reasons that you don’t want to forgive someone:
- You don’t want to look like a fool again.
- You don’t want to open yourself up to being hurt again.
- They don’t deserve to be forgiven because they are not sincerely repentant.
- You want to make the person who wronged you suffer and hurt the way they made you suffer and hurt.
Are those feelings justified?
You don’t want to look like a fool…AGAIN
You don’t want to be vulnerable and get hurt…AGAIN
The undeserving slime isn’t sincerely sorry because the person did it all…AGAIN!
You want to tell them to “Take that and I hope it hurts!”
Drastic times call for drastic measures and what could be more drastic than your pain and anger?! Right?!
Well…sorta, but not really totally true.
In a very selfish world everything is about me, me, me or in this case, you, you, you. How YOU feel is what counts! Right?!
Well, sorta, but not really totally true.
You don’t “do good” for someone in order to “get good” back. The fine line is that you have to decide if your actions are kindness for the sake of kindness, kindness to enable and control, or kindness to get something reciprocated.
It is always best to “be the bigger man” and not seek revenge. Since you don’t really know the other person’s heart, you can’t judge them. If it is too painful, just push them out of your life. I know that sounds easy, but it is often a very hard thing to do.
But if the pain is just too much, your only means of finding peace is to keep the other person out of your life. You don’t have to become vulnerable, risk looking like a fool or take a chance on being hurt again. Distance and time will allow your heart to heal so that you will be able to forgive the other person.
Maybe you’re a doubting Thomas when it comes to the rewards of forgiveness. You see no reason to bite your tongue in lieu of spitting venom at the person who has wronged you or hurt you. I know that the process of forgiveness is not a piece of cake. Forgiveness is a process within the deep recesses of your mind and soul.
Holding a grudge and remaining hurt and/or angry is very unhealthy. You are hurting yourself on top of the hurt you’ve already felt from being wronged by another person. It’s all just getting heaped on top of each other and none of it is doing YOU any good!
Relationships are among the most wonderful things in life, but they are also the garden of so much unhappiness too. If you still can’t let go of the pain in order to forgive someone, you are robbing yourself of peace and happiness. Seems like an awful high price just to be able to remain unforgiving.
For the record, in case you think I am just blowing smoke, I’ve had to do this…all of this…both sides of the forgiveness issue. Obviously that means I’m not perfect. Sorry to shatter your illusion. Ha! Ha!
Just remember, when it all boils down to the essence of living…Nothing matters except love and you can’t grow love if you have a bitter, unforgiving heart and soul.