Forgive: to give up resentment; to grant relief from payment; to cease to feel resentment against an offender.
Have you ever been hurt and wanted to make the person that caused you pain feel the same pain in return? Have you ever refused to forgive because the person that requires forgiveness is constantly making the same mistake? Have you ever said “I forgive you” but you know deep in your heart you really do not because you cannot get past the pain? If so, welcome to the club. Many people have had those thoughts but it’s how you handle them that will make a difference in your life.
It is said that forgiveness is not so much for the other person as it is for you. When you are angry and refuse to forgive, it can fester in your heart and become something that you focus on. Every time you see the person that committed the transgression, you go out of your way not to speak to them, not to look at them, not to acknowledge their presence. Even better, you give them the “mean look” to let them know that you did not forget nor do you plan to forgive what they did.
It can become a full-time job letting a person know how mad you are at them, but guess what — that person may not give it a second thought. Here you are making it your life mission to punish (in your eyes) someone and that person may not even be aware of how they have become the target of your obsession. They are living the good life and you are concentrating on what you’re going to do or say the next time you see them; a complete waste of your time and energy.
Do not let someone hold you hostage with anger. Forgiveness does not mean you have to become friends again, nor does it mean you are supposed to stretch out your arms to allow the same hurt to take place again. It simply means you refuse to give up your peace of mind to someone or something that is not conducive to your well-being.
Forgiveness can be a hard pill to swallow and in most cases will take a lot of praying and asking Jesus for His help. Philippians 4:13 says: I can do all things through Christ which has strengthened me. That lets me know that while it may be hard to forgive, it is not impossible.
I pray each day asking God for forgiveness for my transgressions and I pray to forgive others. Life is precious; do not waste it on things that will not matter in the end. Forgive the person so you can release yourself from the bondage of hurt and anger. Be blessed in Jesus name.
Mary Simmons can be reached at Marysimmons6@hotmail.com.