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Why Forgiveness is Important

Photo by Felix Koutchinski

Someone has done something terrible to you. You can either forgive or not forgive the person who has wronged you.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

Mindful that hate is an evil and a dangerous force, we too often think of what it does to the person hated. But there is another side we must never overlook. Hate is just as injurious to the person who hates. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity.

Let us look more closely at what happens to people who do not forgive others.

  • They will develop an extreme dislike or hate towards the person who did them wrong.
  • Their dislike or hate will grow in them shutting out love.
  • Lack of love coupled with dislike and hate can foster mental depression which makes people feel unhappy all the time.
  • Negative-thinking people see the dark side of things.
  • If people make up their minds not to forgive one person, it becomes easier for them not to forgive the next person. Soon they will have long lists of people they dislike or hate. And they, not the hated person, are being negatively impacted.

There are always obstacles to forgiveness.

  • It is difficult to forget what has been done to you. Perhaps you should not forget the experience. Instead learn from it and grow.
  • It is important to know which people you can trust and which people you cannot trust. Nevertheless, you should forgive the offender.
  • Pride or fear of appearing weak often prevents people from asking for or extending forgiveness.
  • Forgiveness is not easy. It may take time, prayer, and God’s help for a person to achieve it.

Forgiveness helps us to live better lives.

  • Forgiveness frees our energy from dislike, hate, and revenge.
  • Forgiveness allows us to live a life of hope, love, and happiness.
  • Forgiveness allows us to put things behind us.
  • Forgiveness gives us opportunity to explore, evaluate, and embrace new experiences not tainted by hate or dislike.
  • Forgiveness allows us to have a good relationship with God and spiritual wholeness.

What situation has made it hard for you to forgive someone especially if he/she never asked for forgiveness?

Do you agree with Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Do you have a thought process that has worked for you to forgive someone?

Have you ever thought to turn the entire matter over to God and to move on?