Seeking forgiveness can be painful for a few reasons:
- Facing the reality of the hurt you caused another requires you to look the person in the eye when seeking forgiveness. When you do so, you see the pain caused by your actions/words.
- Seeking forgiveness requires humility. Many times our pride stands in the way of embracing humility. It is painful to humble ourselves and admit wrong-doing.
- When seeking forgiveness, we are beholden to another to graciously grant our request. We face the possibility of rejection, and that can be painful.
Seeking Forgiveness from Others
Over the course of my lifetime, I have found it much easier to forgive another, than to seek forgiveness for myself. When I forgive another, I can release the pain and move on. But when I seek forgiveness, I must come to grips with my own vulnerability. For many of us, that seems almost impossible. So, we shy away from doing so, and we live with the pain.
Seeking Forgiveness from God
Yet, with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26). We are blessed to have a gracious. merciful and forgiving God who does not show us the pain He feels when we hurt Him. He simply forgives. He understands our pain, and graciously grants our request for forgiveness. With God, you will never be rejected; only loved!
During this Lenten season, seek forgiveness from those you have hurt. Whether or not you receive it, set aside some time to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation; seeking forgiveness from God, and allowing Him to heal your broken heart. Let God take away your pain. Allow Him to shower you with mercy and love. Let Him replace your pain with His Joy and Peace. Then forgive yourself and be at Peace.