To Forgive or Not To Forgive

Photo by Clement Eastwood on

Forgiveness is an art that a lot of us have yet to master. For the majority, it’s not that we don’t want to forgive, it’s more so the difficulty of going through the process of trying to forgive someone after they have hurt you. Your emotions are all over the place, and at any given second, you can alternate between calm and collected to angrier than you have ever been before. However, you find that you keep reminding yourself to be the bigger person, and being the bigger person means forgiving so that you can move past the situation and get peace of mind. But somehow, we still find ourselves still stuck in this internal battle, asking ourselves,” Can I just let this go. ” You may even confide in your peers and find some who might say, “Well, it’s no big deal; just get over it,” While on the outside looking in forgiveness may seem cut and dry, it is hardly ever that simple. You see, while mercy towards those who hurt us is necessary, it is also not one size fits all.
We are all human and entitled to feel how we feel. We have emotions for a reason. At that moment, If you are angry, be angry. If you are sad, be sad, but do not let those emotions make you bitter. Walking around with a heavy heart, harboring hatred, and animosity towards someone only makes life more difficult. It turns you into a petty and hateful person, and in turn, you become just like the very person that hurt you. That is why forgiveness is in no way for the other person; it is for you.
Forgiveness calms the storm within you. It taps into a strength you probably never knew you had. Forgiveness shows a considerable amount of maturity, and it requires a lot of faith. Speaking from a religious stand-point, when I go to bed, my go-to prayer is often the Lords’s Prayer. A lot of the lines in that prayer may go over our heads, or we never overthink about it. However, it explicitly states, “Forgive us who trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Therefore, this tells me that I can not forgive half heartedly and then expect God to be lenient on me. God forgives us completely, so I should be able to extend the same forgiveness to those who hurt me.
In life, we are going to deal with tough situations that will require forgiveness, and we have to rise above it. It won’t be a comfortable journey. You may backtrack several times. You may get frustrated, angry, and cry just at the simple thought of how they hurt you. But, know those emotions are temporary. However, the peace you will have over the situation will be long term. We are going to have moments when all we have is ourselves to rely on when it comes to picking up the pieces and moving forward, and sometimes there will be no apology or a grand gesture to help wound the hearting heart, and that’s okay. Occasionally in life, we won’t receive the vast majority of apologies we should have, but we can’t let that affect our ability to forgive. The moment that we allow people to affect our moods and day-to-day, we have already given them power over us.
To conclude, I want to leave you all with a message from Pastor TD Jakes, in which Pastor Jakes illustrates the power of forgiveness very well in one of his sermons. He sets up this scene, where he talks about the difference between chickens and eagles. He explains how chickens eat anything off the ground; they spend their time just pecking away similarly to how we often “peck” at the old wounds of those who hurt us. On the other hand, we have the eagles who soar into the sky and fly around the highest mountain tops. So this begs the question when it comes to the matter of forgiveness will you be the “Petty Pecking” Chicken stuck in one place continuously pecking the same situation, or will you rise to the occasion and soar like an eagle?
Choose Wisely.

As always thanks for reading, and in the comments below let me know what is your process for forgiveness?

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