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 that is being done to us is allowed to be extended. The suffering continues because we cannot forgive and forget. We are 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 strength and energy. It is like a ball and chain strapped to our ankle. We are shackled. The more severe the hurt the more difficult it is to get rid of it. The offender often forget their offenses as soon as they are committed. They go on with their lives as if nothing happened. Meanwhile, we fret and fume; harbor bad thoughts, even 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 to us. It is as if we are poisoned and impaired. Foolishly, we allow these harmful effects to continue 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 dominate us, we enslave ourselves to forces that take a heavy toll on our mental and physical well-being. Often we take out our emotions on those around us; those we really care about. Being “unforgiving”, adversely affects our attitude, productivity, and even our health. It is as if we are purposely self-torturing our self. This is masochistic behavior.
It is unwise and unintelligent to not “forgive and forget”. How many of us go about purposely inflicting physical pain and suffering on ourselves. It is always best to avoid getting emotionally upset. We should really try to be in control of our own emotions. We are never 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 your well-being. 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 sake, flush it, forget it. Get rid of it. It is for your well-being.
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 all our sins and wrongs against him, we can forgive others of the wrongs they have done to us. We must ask God for his help to free us from our own chains.
Prayer: Help me to readily forgive others. Help me to have a spirit of love that guides me at all times.