Every once in a while, I am unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised by something I see on the television or hear on the radio. I’m not sure where or when I heard this saying, but I wrote it down and saved it. Actually, it was a pretty profound statement. “Forgiveness is not deserved, but it sets you free.”
What a statement! Let’s face it; it’s hard to forgive someone who has wronged you. Usually human nature urges you to hurt someone the same way or more than he/she hurt you. And you may be inclined to hold a grudge. Neither is the right thing to do.
It’s true that forgiveness is not something that is deserved. But not forgiving causes you to hold onto bad feelings and makes you relive the wrongdoing over and over.
Every time you revisit that wrongdoing in your mind, you give that person another chance to hurt you. The anger and hurt you feel ends up harming you, and it does nothing to the person who hurt you. The person who committed the act against you is probably going along his/her merry way and may not have given his/her actions a second thought or may not even be aware of the transgression. To top it all off, you are giving him/her power over you that you really don’t want him/her to have!
Forgiveness does two things. First of all, it sets the forgiver free from revisiting the wrong and emotion tied to it. The forgiver is no longer a prisoner and is free to live and move into the present and away from the past. In forgiving, the forgiver is giving a gift that is not deserved, and a choice has been made to take the high road and not repay evil for evil.
Secondly, forgiveness opens the door to repair the relationship. If the person who transgressed against you is aware he/she has hurt you; it allows him/her to make the relationship right again. It is a necessary ingredient to rebuilding or repairing a harmed relationship.
Forgiveness is the hardest thing to bestow on someone who you feel is undeserving. However, the healing that comes afterward is worth the effort. As much as you may feel that the person who hurt you does not deserve it, you cannot move forward in your life without it. It’s okay to feel angry and hurt but forgive and move on. “Unforgiveness” brings bitterness which is so hard to get rid of because it grows roots that can grow deep and cause even more pain. I know it’s easier said than done. For your own sake, give the gift of forgiveness and set yourself free.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32