Saturday, April 24, 2010
Forgiveness is Love
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.
A Christian will find it cheaper to pardon than to resent. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, and the waste of spirit.
How often we turn to hate & revenge over forgiveness, but there is no revenge so complete as forgiveness. I know myself, in the past I've found it difficult & thought it to be weak to just 'forgive ' people for they're offense towards me. What about justice & punishment I'd say to myself! But I know once I have forgiven, it's like a weight is lifted off my shoulders and the rest I put to God to sort out for he is our only Judge, saying - "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned...." Luke 6:37.
As soon as we find ourselves wanting revenge, we are judging and it's not our job....aren't we lucky for this! Can you imagine having to be the judge for every single human being! From the smallest and pettiest of offenses to the most painful and grueling - we are to forgive all. It's not a suggestion or a recommendation, but a command. And...ask for that person to forgive us too, for the negative feelings towards them. God tells us "...if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins" - Mark 11:25 and Forgive, and you will be forgiven" - Luke 6:37
Today I went to a program through a local church about How To Fight Feelings of Suspicion & Distrust and How to Avoid Rehearsing Past Hurt & Regain Trust After Trust has been Broken. The main point/solution was to forgive & be forgiven. It was quite interesting the points he made that really, I'd known before, but somehow lost grasp of overtime.
My mother always taught me & my siblings that "two wrongs don't make a right" which I'd always interpreted to mean - if someone does something bad to you, doing another bad thing back to them does not solve the problem, it only makes it worse, and this is so true! I've been thinking about this since, because my thoughts about forgiveness have been that it's about letting go of negativity & ceasing to desire revenge.
So, I googled it (Oh! How I love google!) And this is what it states: Forgiveness is the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution”. But, the meaning of the word "forgiveness" hasn't always meant to stop feeling hatred towards someone for a past offense, but used to mean to give something from yourself, at a cost. To for-give, give forward...? This is what I believe it was intended to mean. So to sum it all up, I now know that forgiveness isn't only a feeling, it's an act. Both the new & old meanings combined make for an awesome kind of forgiveness!
The feelings & blessings after forgiveness way outshine the small thrill from negative thoughts & continued resentment. It's not healthy for our souls.
I love you, O LORD, my strength. - Psalm 18:1
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but LOVE your neighbor as yourself, for I am Lord - Leviticus 19:18
Hatred stirs up dissension, but LOVE covers all wrongs - Proverbs 10:12
Blessings to All!