When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive. Alan Paton
Good, to forgive; Best to forget. Robert Browning
They who forgive most shall be most forgiven. Philip James Bailey
Being unable to forgive is an especially critical weakness. All of us have been wronged. People have done things that caused us pain and suffering. It is easy for us to forget that the longer we continue to remember and relive it; the harm being done to us is allowed to be extended. The suffering continues because we cannot forgive and forget. We start becoming responsible for our own pain and suffering.
It is easier to forgive an unintentional act than an intentional act. It is easier to forgive when our forgiveness is asked. In some respects these things do not matter. Something was done that caused us to suffer. The offender may, or may not, seek forgiveness. If we are unable to forgive, then we have strapped a very heavy burden to our backs and must carry it wherever we go. It robs us of our strength and energy. . It is like a ball and chain strapped to our ankle. We are not free. The more severe the hurt the more difficult it is to get rid of it. Offenders often forget their offenses as soon as they are committed. They go on with their lives as if it nothing happened. Meanwhile, we fret and fume; harbor bad thoughts, often wanting to get even or get revenge. We may become distraught and emotionally upset; even losing our temper as we relive what has been done. It is as if we are poisoned and impaired. Foolishly, we choose to allow these harmful effects to haunt and hurt us. There are many miserable, unhappy, and unhealthy people due to their inability to forgive.
When we allow negative emotions to control us, we enslave ourselves to forces that take a heavy toll on our mental well-being. Often we take out our emotions on those around us; those we care about the most. Being “unforgiving”, adversely affects our attitude, productivity, and even our health. It is as if we are purposely torturing our self. This is known as masochistic behavior.
It is unwise and unintelligent to not “forgive and forget”. How many of us would purposely inflict physical pain and suffering on ourselves. It is best to avoid getting emotionally upset. We should always try to be in control of our own emotions. We are not responsible for others actions, but we are always responsible for our own. Forgive and forget.
Challenge: Are you currently harboring bad feelings toward others that linger from past wrongs? Allow those feelings to surface. As much as possible consider what this is doing to you personally. The incident is over. The offender has probably forgotten about it. Yet it continues to harm you. Try to forgive the offender if possible. If you cannot do this, for your own sake, flush it, forget it. Get rid of it. Go on with your life.
Wisdom: To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. Lewis Smedes
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” wait for the Lord, and He will deliver you. Proverbs 20:22
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6
One of our greatest weaknesses is that we are often our own worst enemies. Many of us carry the emotional baggage of past wrongs done to us. It is a heavy burden and handicaps us. We allow it to fester and rot inside us. It is a poison that does us harm. If God can forgive us for all our sins and wrongs against him, we can forgive others of the wrongs they have done to us. We must ask God to help free us from these chains.
Prayer: Help me to be able to readily forgive others. Help me to have a spirit of love that guides me at all times.