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What is your take on forgiveness? Is it easy for you to forgive or do you find it very difficult?
To forgive a person who has hurt your feelings is probably one of the hardest things to do.
You want to move on, but you can’t. Because every time you are reminded of what that person did to you and said to you, it feels like your heart is being wounded again and again.
Even if you know that it is the right thing to forgive, we are more familiar with unforgiveness. But even if it’s difficult, we still need to forgive. We still need to do it, and do it regularly. “Chinkee, why?”
EXPRESS WHAT YOU FEEL
Part of true forgiveness is releasing our negative emotions. Let the person who has hurt or offended you know about the pain that you are feeling. If you are unable to do this, anger and hate will steal your joy, peace, and even health.
Your spouse, brother, father, mother, or friend are not psychics. Maybe they are aware that they have done something wrong (but there are times when they have done or said something hurtful to you without meaning to) but it would still make a huge difference if your own sentiments will come from you.
Maybe because if you don’t say anything and express your sentiments, they will think that you’re okay. And how will they ask for forgiveness if all the while they think that you’re okay with whatever it is that happened?
Be honest with how you feel, and express it to the people who have hurt you.
“But what’s in it for me? If I do that, I will only make it easier for the person who has offended me, once he knows that I have already forgiven him. Shouldn’t he first suffer for what he did?”
FORGIVENESS WILL BENEFIT YOU MORE THAN THE OFFENDER
The misconception about forgiveness is that it will help the person who has done us wrong more than it will help us who were offended. But actually, it’s the other way around.
Have you experienced being with people who are bitter? The kind of people whose outlook in life is purely negative?
Most likely, these people still haven’t forgiven the person who has offended them.
And who do you think is being damaged with their bitterness and negativity? Is it the person who has offended them, or is it themselves?
It doesn’t matter how healthy you seem to be. If you are a person living with bitterness, you will inevitably face sickness. I do believe that it’s not on the healthy food that we eat or on the exercise that we do that our healthy lifestyle is based, but also on our outlook in life.
The more that we have a positive outlook in life, the more that we can become healthy. And you can start the positive outlook by forgiving the person who has hurt you.
In doing so, you will not only lift the weight that the person is carrying knowing that he or she has offended someone, but will also be lifting a huge burden from yourself.
BECAUSE WE ARE ALSO FORGIVEN
As it is said in the Bible, “Forgive us our sins, as we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4).
This means that we are all sinners. We all have shortcomings. We all have said, thought of, and done something that has offended our God. But He forgave us of our sins. Realizing this huge, important fact sheds light to why and how we can do what we have to do, which is to forgive.
Every time that someone does you wrong or offends you, instead of avoiding the emotion that you are feeling, embrace it. It’s not bad to feel strong emotions such as betrayal or hurt. These are normal reactions once a person hurts you or offends you. But the next step is important: You can choose to respond accordingly by forgiving the person who has hurt you.
Now, it is time for you to decide.
Do you want to be able to move on, or do you still want to stay just the way you are?
THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.
Express what you feel so that the person who has offended you will know about how you truly feel. Then, forgive because you are forgiven. And remember that forgiveness will benefit you more than the offender. (Chinkee Tan)