“It takes a lot of courage to forgive someone but it takes even bigger courage to ask for forgiveness.” ~ Romin Niamat
There is much written about the need to forgive. We realize that withholding forgiveness harms us. Like a wound that festers, withholding forgiveness sours the soul, clouds the mind, and causes all sorts of ill in and for us. Even if the other person does not care about our forgiveness, we need to forgive for our own benefit.
What is not written about as often, though, is the (perhaps greater) need to seek forgiveness. Seeking forgiveness takes real courage because seeking forgiveness means that we have to admit to ourselves that we were in the wrong. Seeking forgiveness means that we acknowledge that we have hurt someone else by something we said or did or by something left unsaid or undone. We were the cause of someone’s pain and we were definitely in the wrong.
How many people quickly and willingly admit to being in the wrong? I am sure I would not need all the fingers on my two hands to count that number.
Our human nature holds us back from seeking forgiveness. Our human nature does everything in its power to pin the blame on others. We do not want to incur the blame, we do not want to admit the fault, because doing so, we believe, implies weakness. If we need to seek forgiveness, that means, we tell ourselves, that we were too weak to do what was right.
The wonderful thing about seeking forgiveness is that is shows another person that we will not allow our pride to get in the way. It shows another person that we are not too big to admit wrong. It gives another person the opportunity to practice the virtue of forgiveness.
And it feels oh so good.
Yes. It feels good.
When we admit our wrong and ask forgiveness, we are putting it on the line. When the other person forgives us, we feel free. Unencumbered by the guilt that we had been carrying, we feel as if a huge load has been taken off of us.
That cannot be so bad.
FAITH ACTION: Be quick to forgive today. In addition, search your heart. If you have wronged someone, seek forgiveness from that person. If necessary, get to confession to seek forgiveness from God.