Monday, March 19, 2007
To Forgive Is The Essence Of Life
Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. Especially if you're on the end, of being the one forgiven! But what if you're the one that needs to forgive? In my lifetime, I have been hurt more times than I would even want to count. If it's just an acquaintance, there is no problem at all in forgiving. You just decide to forgive, and make sure you don't run into them anymore:)
What if the person is close? For instance a family member, a coworker who has become like family, or a dear friend, what then? The process is the same as for an acquaintance, you decide to forgive. That is always the first step. The problem is, it hurts like the dickens, to trust someone...and then have them violate that trust. It takes a long time to heal. But the healing process won't happen, until after you decide to forgive them.
When a situation arises as this, I feel extremely hurt. It takes weeks or months for me to get over the pain. Immediately, however, I tell God that I forgive them. After a few weeks of the pain, then I feel anger. I'm very slow to anger, to a fault. But when I finally do get angry, I have to express it. There are "good" ways of doing this. Perhaps it's by writing your feelings down, then burning the paper, saying a prayer as you do it, and asking God to help you forgive. I did this once in an Abuse Class I used to teach. I had everyone write down everything done to them, and by whom. I told them to write how it made them feel, as well. Then we went outside, putting all the papers in a can, and began burning them. As they burned, we held hands, and asked God to help us. We each told God that we forgave them. At the end, we prayed for each other, asking for God's peace, and guidance. When we were done, there was such a peace, for all of us. We could feel God's presence. That night, everyone felt released from the pain, anger, and hurt. The offenses to these women had been of the vilest of sins...so if THEY COULD FORGIVE, so can we all!
There is a second fold reason for forgiving. If you don't forgive someone for a transgression against you, you will be bound...spiritually, to that person for the rest of your life. You see, it not only hurts them, but hurts YOU as well. There is also a passage from the Bible that comes to mind, it simply says that if we can't forgive others, then He CAN'T forgive us. We all need to be forgiven by God, there is not ONE of us, who is perfect. If someone believes that they haven't done anything to be forgiven for, then they are on dangerous ground. BECAUSE WE ALL SIN. The only person without sin was Jesus Christ.
Being hurt by someone else, is just one of those things that we all have to go through. It will never be easy, or painless. Especially if it's someone close to you. These things will happen, and we have to get through them. It's easier if we remember the steps, then do them.
1. Decide to forgive immediately.
2. Don't worry if you don't FEEL like you have forgiven. Emotions don't count. Choice is what counts, so choose to forgive, and ask God to line your emotions up with your choice. This may take awhile:)
3. It's normal to be angry, but try not to sin in that anger. If you do, ask God to forgive you. If you have chosen to forgive others, HE will forgive you:)
4. Know that this won't be the only time you have to go through this. So try to get the steps right the first time, it will make it easier the next time. Also, one more note here...when you forgive someone, it doesn't mean you have to place yourself in a position to be hurt by them again. Sometimes, we can't stay away from the person, especially if it's a "work" or "family" situation. Just do your best!
5. Finally go play Cooties with a child, or play fetch with your dog! Maybe take a long drive through the country, with the windows down. Or put that CD on that you love to listen to, but never have time for, and crank it up REAL LOUD. Do whatever seems enjoyable to you, and get your mind off of it. After all, you have put it in God's hands....so you don't have to worry about it anymore!