Sunday, 26 February 2012

We are forgiven, can we forgive?

Following on from this morning's session for the kids on the unforgiving servant I saw this on a friend's facebook wall.  Isn't that amazing how things come together, especially in Lent.  This has so much to say to me about what it means to forgive.

Anyone can hold a grudge, but it takes a person with character to forgive.
It certainly is hard to forgive, it means seeing beyond whatever caused us pain and really working on how we can heal.  It means sitting with the hurt and working through it.  That takes effort.

When you forgive, you release yourself from a painful burden.
This is the truth that most people don't realise.  Forgiveness is a lot about being freed from the pain, hurt and energy which is takes to hold a grudge and retain hate.  It is definitely worthwhile putting the work in to move on with your life.

Forgiveness doesn't mean what happened was OK, and it doesn't mean that person should still be weclome in your life.
This is a hard one, especially if the person receiving the forgiveness doesn't realise it.  Forgiveness is about moving on, it's not about saying it was OK, it's not saying that you'll accept the same behaviour again, it's not saying that you trust the person anymore.  It doesn't necessarily put things back the way they were before, in fact it might never; it's about allowing the pain to pass.  Sometimes part of forgiveness is about distancing yourself in the future to help you and the other person avoid the same again, this is especially true when it comes to addictive behaviours.

It just means you have made peace with the pain and are ready to let it go.
Making peace with the pain, what easy words and what a hard task to achieve.  You have not forgiven something if the event and feelings associated with it are still on your mind and eating you up.  You have not achieved forgiveness if you think about it all the time or it triggers your emotions.  Forgiveness is about truly moving beyond what happened in all senses.

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