What is forgiveness? Why forgive? 

Forgiveness is not merely accepting what happened or ceasing to be angry. Rather, it involves a voluntary transformation of your feelings, attitudes, and behavior, so that you are no longer dominated by resentment and can express compassion, generosity, or the like toward the person who wronged you. In a spiritual sense, forgiveness is a key element to spiritual growth. When we hold on to anger, resentment, and other negative emotions we create blocks that prevent us from connecting with God and our purpose. 

Although forgiveness is not a physical act, unforgiveness can be detriment to our physical health. Holding on to anger and resentment can cause serious health issues. When you hear individuals say, “Forgiveness is not for the person who wronged you, it is for you.” That is absolutely true. While you hold on to the hurt, the pain, and the resentment caused by the person who wronged you, they might be living their best life without a care in the world. Meanwhile, you are battling unnecessary health issues that could have been prevented. Letting go is in your best interest. Forgiveness does not mean you are weak or that you allow others to take advantage of you. It simply means you can take accountability for the part you played in the situation and knowing, moving forward, what you will and will not accept in certain situations that you face. Forgiveness is a process, one that is necessary to grow in life. Let go and let God. 

Forgiving others is one thing, however, the most important person to forgive is yourself. While taking inventory of yourself on who you need extend grace to, remember to extend grace to the one who matters the most. Forgive yourself for allowing certain circumstances to take place. Forgive yourself for not speaking up in the moments you needed to but stayed quiet. Forgive yourself because you are no longer that person you were one, two, even three years ago. Forgive yourself and forgive those who have wronged you.  

Jesus taught, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you” (Matthew 6:14). “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

By; Renia Mabson CSLC