“Forgiveness is not a feeling — it’s a decision we make because we want to do what’s right before God. It’s a quality decision that won’t be easy and it may take time to get through the process, depending on the severity of the offense.” ~ Joyce Meyer
There are many things that keep us from doing what’s right before God. Our human nature often gets in the way. Our pride, prejudice, arrogance, passions and the like often run roughshod over our sense of what’s right and wrong. We often look for immediate gratification and for the things that will satisfy us. We don’t like to do things uncomfortable or foreign to us. We shy away from things that we cannot see, taste, touch, or smell. That is why embracing the spiritual is so difficult.
Forgiveness is definitely one of the spiritual virtues. It is something that is, indeed, foreign to our human nature. Our human nature tends toward vengeance and not forgiveness. Our human nature tends toward ostracizing those who hurt us. We do not entertain thoughts of forgiveness easily. However, forgiveness is not only necessary on the spiritual level, it is also necessary on the human level.
Most psychologists or counselors will tell their patients or clients that forgiveness is necessary in order to move on from our hurt. Forgiveness doesn’t do anything to the person that harmed us as much as it does for ourselves. The people who hurt us may not care about our forgiveness but until we can forgive, we cannot move ahead. We keep ourselves trapped if we withhold forgiveness. Our hurt and anger will fester inside and make us ill physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Those who forgive feel as if a great weight is lifted from their shoulders. They no longer are bound by their hurt. Oh, sure, they will remember it and the ones who have caused it. However, they will have learned from their experience in order to safeguard themselves.
When we forgive, we embrace the qualities of God. We become more like the people He calls us to be. That certainly cannot be a bad thing. Consider forgiveness today. It is not only something good to do for our very souls, it also provides an example to others.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God for the grace and determination that you need to forgive from the heart.