Over the last week the concept of forgiveness has been the hot topic of discussion in churches, libraries, workplaces and dinner tables across the globe. What sparked this conversation was the chilling video of the families of the Charleston Massacre offering forgiveness to the alleged shooter, Dylan Roof.
So what exactly is forgiveness? Forgiveness is defined by some as giving up my right to hurt you, for hurting me. Forgiveness says I do not have to hear you say I am sorry in order for me to move forward with my life. Forgiveness is designed to set the victim free. It has nothing to do with the offender.
Many question if we forgive are we also encouraged to forget? Not so much. If we give it a biblical perspective when Jesus died on the cross to save our sins he called out to God asking him to "forgive them for they know not what they do". Did that take Jesus off the cross. No. The same works with forgiveness here on earth today. Just because you forgive someone does not mean you are condoning their actions nor does it mean you think that person had the right to hurt you. Despite your forgiveness there are still consequences your offender must face but forgiving them releases you from the pain.
So why should you forgive you may ask? Let me offer a few reasons why I personally believe one should forgive:
- It sets you free
- It helps you move forward with your life
- It begins your healing process
- It removes the anger and malice from your heart
- You're no longer giving someone else authority over your mind and heart
- You'll will have a peace of mind
- You have the power to forgive
- Forgiveness is the best revenge
- Forgiveness is one of life's greatest teachers
- Forgiveness helps us release the victim mentality
Are you ready to forgive or not? Maybe you are but maybe you are not but remember forgiveness is a process don't rush it. When the time is right to forgive you will know and it will be the greatest feeling in the world.