is a decision to let go of resentments and thoughts of revenge. We have all been
terribly hurt by the harsh actions or words of another. These wounds can leave
you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness and vengeance. But the truth is when
you don’t practice forgiveness, you may
be the one who pays most dearly.
isn’t the same as forgetting what happened to you. The act that hurt or
offended you may always remain a part of your life. But forgiveness can lessen
its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness
also doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting
you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify their wrong. You can forgive the person
without excusing the act.
of the secrets to a long and fruitful life is to genuinely forgive everybody
everything every night before you go to bed. Did you know holding on to grudges
and bitterness results in long-term health problems? To carry a grudge is like
being stung to death by one bee. Forgiveness, on the other hand, offers
numerous health benefits such as:
you noticed the hypocrisy: That every man says forgiveness is a wonderful
idea— until he has something to forgive? But when we’re unforgiving, it’s we
who pay the price over and over. We may bring our anger and bitterness into
every new relationship and experience, and perhaps not even know it. Our lives
may be so wrapped up in replaying what wrong was done against us that we can’t
enjoy the present. We grow sour on life. In fact, it may be infinitely worse to
refuse to forgive than to murder, because the murder may be an impulse in a
moment of anger; whereas the failing to forgive is an ongoing cold and
deliberate choice of the heart.
weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strongest will. A
famous man once said, “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” Have you
pardoned anyone lately? Remember— those who forgive most shall be most
is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend, or someone you perceive
to be on your team. And it may be particularly hard to forgive someone who
doesn’t admit they did wrong, or even admit to partial fault. If you find
yourself stuck with this situation, it may be helpful to take some time to talk
about it with another person. It is also beneficial to pray. Through daily
prayer the ability to forgive will come in time. You will know that forgiveness
has begun when you recall those who hurt you . . . and feel within you the
power to wish them well.
in mind that you can’t force someone to forgive you. They will need to move to
forgiveness in their own time. Forgiveness may even lead to reconciliation, but
not always. In some cases, reconciliation may be impossible because the
offender has died. In other cases, reconciliation may not be appropriate. But
even in those cases, forgiveness is still possible, even if reconciliation
often isn’t just a one-time thing. It begins with a decision to forgive, but
because memories or another set of words or actions may trigger old feelings,
you may need to recommit to forgiveness over and over again, with the same person. Resist the temptation
to keep score, get even, or one-upping. Give the other guy the last word.
remember this well— getting the other person to change their actions,
behavior or words isn’t the point of
forgiveness. In fact, the other
person may never change or apologize for the offense. Think of forgiveness
more about how it can change your life — by bringing you a lifetime of peace, allowing
you to let the past go and move forward with a new life now free of hostility. Notice
forgiveness takes away the power the other person had to control your life.
have to be willing to forgive ourselves. The more you know yourself, the more
you will forgive yourself. If you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can
you forgive others? Holding on to resentment against yourself can be just as
toxic as holding on to resentment against someone else. Recognize that past poor
behavior or mistakes, no matter how grave, never have and never will make you
worthless or bad in the eyes of God— that’s just a trick the enemy wants you
to believe. Jesus forgave the thief while on the cross— He can forgive you
and I. For anything. Anything? Anything.
Accept the fact that you and I
— like everyone else in this world— aren’t perfect. We must accept ourselves
despite our faults. We admit our mistakes. Forgiveness of ourselves or someone
else, though not easy, will transform our life. Instead of dwelling on the
injustices against us and getting our revenge, instead of being angry and
bitter, we can live the rest of our days with a peaceful spirit. This is as the
Lord intended it.
All we need to do is forgive
More on forgiveness . . . .
We do not really know how to forgive until we
know what it is to be forgiven.
Therefore, we should be glad that others could forgive us. It is our
forgiveness of one another that makes the love of Jesus manifest in our lives,
for in forgiving one another we act towards one another
as He has acted towards us.
…and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive
each one who is in debt to us.
forgive them for they know not what they do.”
You have learned how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for
But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On
contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well.
If we practice and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole
world will be blind and toothless.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt
you and feel the power to wish them well.
Then Peter went up to him and said, “Lord, how often must I forgive
brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times? Jesus
“Not seven, I tell you, but seventy seven times.”
The more you know yourself,
the more you forgive yourself.
you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?
It is easier to forgive an
enemy than to forgive a friend.
We must develop and
maintain the capacity to forgive. He
who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is
some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover
this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.
The weak can never forgive.
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Keeping score of old scores and scars, getting even and one-upping,
always makes you less than you are.
He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which
he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven;
for everyone has need to be forgiven.
Everyone says that forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to
Helen Prejean, csj
In our society, forgiveness is often seen as weakness. People
forgive those who have hurt them or their family are made to look as if
they are weak, or really don’t care about their loved ones. But forgiveness
is tremendous strength. It is the action of someone who refuses to be
hatred and revenge.
There is nothing that in the end, that cannot
but there remains much that is inexcusable.
Forgiveness is the scent that the rose leaves on
the heel that crushes it.
Saint Francis of Assisi
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
Many promising reconciliations have broken
down because while both parties come prepared to forgive, neither party come
prepared to be forgiven.
It may be infinitely worse to refuse to forgive than to murder,
the murder may be an impulse in a moment of heat; whereas the failing to
is a cold and deliberate choice of the heart.
This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps
his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it
does enlarge the future.
They who forgive most shall be most forgiven.
To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
Do you prefer that you be right or happy?
Bishop Desmond Tutu
does not mean condoning what has been done. It means taking what happened
seriously…drawing out the sting in the memory that threatens our entire
William H. Walton
To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.
One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life . . . is to forgive
everybody everything every night before you go to bed.
To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you
untold peace and happiness.
When we judge, we are pushing people away; we are creating a wall, a
barrier. When we forgive we are destroying barriers, we come closer to