I have heard everybody from Bishop TD Jakes to Oprah say, that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, letting go of past harms and moving forward is beneficial for you, you let go of bitterness and allow yourself the opportunity to move ahead, unforgiveness can be like dead weight you lug around, it weighs you down, if you forgive you empty yourself from an unnecessary burden.
But forgiveness can be tough, when the pain cuts deep, it can be almost impossible. I don’t know if I would regard myself a forgiving person, my approach when I notice someone has wronged me, if I consider their actions to be irredeemable and they are not remorseful is to avoid them. I may not go around seeking to plot my revenge or wallow in a cesspool of bitter emotions and animosity, instead I will deal with being scorned the best way I understand how by erasing you from my life, it would be as if you never existed. It saves me the trouble of seeking to be the mature one by absolving and letting go, but I also don’t have to carry around the pain of what you did to hurt me. As a word of caution I don’t think this solution is healthy, so that is why I wrote this blog, to tackle forgiveness.
What is the best approach to go about this whole forgiveness business? As a Christian I am expected to be forgiving always (Matthew 18:21) I will be sincere, this not sit easily with me, why? Because It seems as if you are offering an individual, unbridled autonomy to continue being an asshole. But on the other end, what does clinging on to past pains and retaliating do for us, sure it feels good when you act out, but when the blood thirst for revenge quenches does it make us better? We still know deep down inside, we are hurting, vengeance doesn’t loose us from the anguish of having our feelings hurt. It is like placing a band aid on a deep cut from a knife.
Sometimes I wonder, is forgiveness always about being wronged or more about our own ego, there is no excuse for betrayal in marriage, stealing from a business partner, or sharing stories told you in confidence by a friend, but let’s be careful not to let the ego and pride, provoke us to create mountains out of mole holes in situations where a simple, it’s okay never mind, would have solved the problem.
Being offended is becoming common in our society and narcissism is at the root of having an a ruthless spirit. People won’t consistently be perfect, they will mess things up, irritate and will disappoint you in ways that will astound you, and indeed worse still you are just as capable yourself of doing the same actions to them, nobody is above being the wrong at any point in time (Matthew 18: 23-35).Lord knows I have done things that have made a few people angry.
Guard against being unforgiving , and save yourself from emotional stress by providing room for grace.Ndidi Ndekwu
I am still learning to temper my expectations on human behavior, I and other human beings are intrinsically selfish at the core, it is our nature and because of this we will often hurt other people willingly and unwillingly, we will fall short.
Ideally, we should strive to provide for grace for everybody, that might not always be possible, it is entirely up to you to decide to whom and how much you will give space for forgiveness; as a general rule of thumb,you must be open enough to do this for everyone you meet.
It doesn’t make you a doormat, and it doesn’t mean that individuals will have liberty to walk over your emotions, if it puts you in a position of being in total command of your reactions and emotions.
Despite any of their antics you stay the same when people realize you are unperturbed it makes them feel shameful and embarrassed at their own behavior (Rom 12:19-21). Leave vengeance to the hands of God, he sees everything.
Some people might read this blog and say well what about individuals who have dealt with sexual abuse, domestic violence and other heinous crimes inflicted on them, what business do we have to tell them to give room for grace, and you are right I have none.
In those cases not as easy as just placing your ego aside and hugging things out, their wounds cause scars that may take years to heal, for them I will be forthright and say lay all that resentment, bitterness and even shame at the feet of Jesus, asides from you only he sees where it pains and how best to fix it, we live in a fallen world where terrible events happen to us beyond our control, but as justified as it may seem emotionally, holding on to that pain does us more harm than good, it can never make us happy in the long run.
Forgiving may not always be easy, it takes a lot of maturity and spiritual growth for us to come to a place where we can truly let go of hurts, but it is a gift that is worth offering to yourself.