Forgiveness is one of the best gifts you can give to anyone. It can set people free and help them to start again without guilt and shame. What a treat to cut someone free from their past behavior and your hurt, pain or disappointment. So why aren’t we more generous and forthcoming with this gift? Holding on to it doesn’t help you or anyone else, so why do we do it? Laziness? Pride? Maybe wanting to control, punish or manipulate?
Forgiveness is a chasm closer. It can close a gap that has been between two people for years just because you chose not to forgive at the time. Sincerity is a powerful tool to open people’s hearts and allow them to truly hear. With forgiveness, choosing not to forgive can be detrimental to your wellbeing and the wellbeing of the one you’ve refused to forgive.
My husband and I learned how to truly express our need for forgiveness in a way that others can’t doubt you. We were taught by friends to apologise by expressing it this way…”I’m sorry, I was wrong and you were right”. It can feel like chewing glass! It’s worth the discomfort though because it opens the door to forgiveness because you have taken responsibility for what you’ve done without putting the blame on the other.
I have friends who have agreed to apologise quite specifically. They say…”I’m sorry for….” then describe specifically what they have done wrong. This softens the heart of the hearer and allows them to hear your sense of repentance. This also increases the chance of a quicker forthcoming ”I forgive you!”
Do you remember what it feels like to be forgiven? I do! I can recall so many instances where I didn’t get what I deserved. Instead I got mercy, kindness and forgiveness. I often remind my kids that mercy means that I don’t get what I do deserve. Mercy is a much needed gift for all. Most of us need more of it than we recognise. If you’ve ever received mercy then surely you can learn how to forgive. Remember, what you sow, you reap!