The Habit of Forgiving: 3 Simple Rules to Forgiveness

~To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was none other than yourself~

By Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness is not a form of weakness, although it may feel that way in the process. The objective of forgiveness is more so to grant you peace of mind and personal well-being than to benefit the other person or permit their actions. Forgiveness means to forego the impulse to hold grudges, act with hatred towards another person and miserably stalk them on social media hoping they one day end up in an accident or even more likely, get hit by a meteor so you can lavish yourself in their misery. In fact, this kind of longing for another person’s demise shows them that they have the power to invoke reactions from you and they will see themselves superior to you.

retrieved from: https://askgramps.org

Therefore set yourself apart and allow yourself to forgive. Altogether the hope of wishing someone ill is unhealthy to you alone because you are leaving room for jealousy, anger and ill will. These kinds of feelings won’t do any harm to the other person. It is actually quite similar to drinking poison hoping for the other person to suffer the consequences. I know that many times (probably most times) forgiveness is very difficult especially when betrayal is from your own friends and family. I understand this feeling all too well so I put together my own rules on how to forgive and Here they are!

 

  1. Empathize
retrieved from: https://medium.com/cylinderproject/how-to-actually-empathize-8198e7800166

You may think I’m crazy to say that you, the victim, should empathize with the person who has only been inflicting pain and grief towards you. It’s very humbling to look outside of yourself and veer into the mind of another person; placing yourself into their shoes. Many times, when you do this, you get a better understanding of the person’s intention and in many cases, their intention really isn’t about you or to hurt you. They may just be immature or aren’t sensitive to the pain they are causing you through their behaviors. Other times they could be struggling with something internally and trying to pull you as a victim into their own pain. The longer you know someone, the better you can determine their lifestyle and personality. They may have been brought up in a less privileged home or had issues in their life that shaped them to be where they are now. This does not mean you excuse their actions, rather it means you should try and not take them too personally. The act of seeing the situation through their eyes is selfless since it takes your mind away from yourself in order to consider where the other person is in their life. Imagine if you did someone wrong and instead of lunging at you, they take a moment to conclude the situation with understanding and forgiveness. It would make you jump for joy especially when you know you don’t deserve it.

Having a friend do this for us or us doing this for a friend helps us get a glimpse of just how immense the forgiveness God granted to us is. He carried the cross for our sins and was crucified in the most gruesome way but even amongst all of that, instead of casting us down, because in fact he still was God, he said “forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Like Christ we should study the word of God and pray to develop a heart of forgiveness and show how much we truly love others and ourselves.

  1. Heal

Take a step back, analyze the situation, ask yourself what could have been done better as opposed to identifying the stupid one, or the one at fault who deserves to be punished. Just like in my previous post on grieving and letting go, allow yourself to know and feel the hurt you currently feel then let it go. Recognize its pain but then you must eventually get to a place where you can ask yourself this question: Now What? It’s a question that pushes your mind from being reactive to being proactive and searching out solutions to heal yourself from the psychological, mental and/or physical damage that was caused.

retrieved from: https://lcmi.org/ministries/healing-the-heart/

Furthermore, another beneficial part of healing requires some separation from the individual(s) to let off some steam. It gives you perspective on what steps to take next and provides ample time for you to recollect yourself and focus on things that progress you forwards. Find scriptures of forgiveness from the word of God in your bible or online and meditate on them. So much that they become similar to song lyrics that get stuck in your head (this is actually how I memorize verses, through songs and tunes cause they stick better). Leave the pain in God’s hands and he will guide you through the tough time of forgiving.

  1. Revenge… but not really

Lastly take revenge! Grab their toothbrush and use it to wipe the sides of the toilet bowl…said no true God fearing individual ever! Ok, so Revenge is sweet but it really only gives you short term satisfaction. Anger will continue to well up between the 2 of you, especially if someones breath starts smelling like literal shit (ok never do this its so unhygienic). If anything pray and ask God to show you how to forgive with grace. I remember a time when I was so mad at someone in my family that it humbled me to my knees and I had to ask God in that moment why our relationship had gotten so bad. I felt a strong inclination to forgive the person and tears began to well up in my eyes as I felt the burden rising from my chest. I remembered that it was not my battle, God had already redeemed me at the cross but for now I must grow myself to work better with this person. I then had a deeper appreciation towards Gods forgiveness and patience in my own life.

http://www.opnlttr.com/letter/revenge

A lesson I learned was to take all painful incidents as opportunities to build my faith because it is the best investment I could do for myself. Never linger on ways to get back at the other person, simply improve in yourself and your faith and God will work with the rest. God said that revenge is his so place your trust in him. Ultimately I also believe that success in its own way is the best revenge. Place your energy into making the best out of your circumstance and building yourself in Christ’s likeness. By doing this you will have spiritual success which has many byproducts like financial stability, wealth, wisdom, patience and more!

 

Thank you for reading this weeks blog! comment down below your thoughts or share your experiences on having to forgive someone or maybe even someone forgiving you. Like, comment, and subscribe to receive notifications for future posts. in the meantime enjoy your week, stay blessed and continue to learn, grow and prosper! ❤ 

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