… when given to others, is done more for yourself, than for the person being forgiven. To forgive someone for an offense committed against you is to release yourself from the bond that the offense has created. I have an excellent example from my own life to prove the point.
When I was a child in grade school, I wore braces on my legs and went through several surgeries because I was born with clubbed feet. Well, everyone knows how cruel children can be, and I suffered from a great deal of taunting and verbal abuse at the hands of several of my classmates simply because of my “difference.” I was an outcast, a “cootie-bug” (remember that one? It was common in my day – maybe I am dating myself). The verbal abuse was so excessive, that I would go home every afternoon and cry, asking my mom why my classmates were so mean to me. This abuse lasted all throughout my eight years of grade school. Naturally, it impacted my self-worth. It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I had an epiphany connecting the verbal abuse from my classmates with my need to constantly seek approval from my colleagues at work. I was still that little girl seeking acceptance – always trying to prove my worth. With this epiphany, I decided to finally forgive my former classmates of their cruelty, and with that forgiveness, Christ healed me! I was no longer held bound to the abuse. I was free to be the person I was meant to be. I no longer needed to seek acceptance and approval from my colleagues to confirm my self-worth. In Christ’s healing, He affirmed my self-worth! He has a plan for me, and no verbal abuse, or pats on the back for that matter, mean anywhere near as much to me anymore as doing the Lord’s will does. Christ’s healing, through my willingness to forgive, has set me on the right course for my life.
How to Forgive / How to be Forgiven
The ability to forgive is a blessed thing to possess; to be forgiven is even better. We are all sinners in need of Christ’s forgiveness. He’s waiting for you to seek His forgiveness by acknowledging your sins. He is waiting to joyfully forgive you of your sins and to extend His mercy upon you, because He loves you! What are you waiting for? Get to it! Receive forgiveness, mercy, peace and joy – all great virtues to possess!
Give forgiveness as well. For we affirm the need to forgive, every time we pray the Our Father: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.”
Maybe, just maybe, by forgiving and being forgiven, we can put an end to mean-spiritedness, which has become so pervasive in our society today.