To forgive and forget is the main thing that I have struggled with. It is not that I did not understand what forgiveness was, my mother raised me quoting Colossians and Matthew every day about forgiveness. Forgiveness was never my issue, I could forgive but I refused to forget the wrongs of others. I would never bring it up but my mind would never forget and if something went wrong my mind would remind me of the wrongs this person did. I’ll explain why this kind of forgiveness is just as bad as not forgiving at all.
Before, I talk about the biblical reasons you should forgive, let’s talk about the real ways not forgiving someone can reek havoc in your life. I already shared a little bit about my father and his story a little bit in my Three/Fourth Month update, but one thing that I mentioned was his issues with forgiveness, and the worst thing you can have to happen is live a life where you never forgive people and you never ask for forgiveness. Shortly, after my mother passed my father’s health began to decline, when we informed him of her death he was completely shocked. He did not know what to say or do. While my mother was in the hospital I asked her if she wanted me to tell him that her condition was a lot more serious than we thought and that she would be hospitalized for longer than expected and she said no. Later, my sister told me that my mother said no because she signed power of attorney over to her and telling my father meant the hospital would no longer look for us to make decisions about her care, and her affairs.
Just as important as it is to forgive it is important to ask for forgiveness. Regardless, as if you think the person will forgive you, you ought to ask for forgiveness. I consider this to be a silent killer because it eats away at you, slowly ripping you apart on the inside. Something else happens, you don’t forgive or you don’t ask for forgiveness and it is eating away at you on the inside.
What have you gained from not forgiving someone?
I remember reading a comment about forgiveness and it said that the person you are refusing to forgive has moved on with their life. You are busy holding onto whatever you feel they did wrong, and all the while they are living their life. Maybe they are like my father, maybe they are unable to ask for forgiveness because they don’t know how to say that they were wrong and they need you to forgive. My sister always says this about people, ” it’s in the eyes, the eyes are the windows to the soul.” I had the ability to look into his eyes and realize that he needed my forgiveness.
What about the people who aren’t around to forgive, the beauty is that just about everyone is on social media, or have a cell phone, and if that doesn’t work, letters still work. Forgiveness is just as much for you as it is for the other person, if not more for you. There is freedom in forgiveness, and many people do not realize that.
Now, back to my previous form of forgiveness and what made me stop forgiving in this way. I forgave but I refused to forget. My problem was this since I decided never to forget even though I had forgiven the person, I could never speak to them again because my mind would replay all the things they had done. Instead of putting the past behind me, and moving on with my life, I was carrying this unforgiving baggage around with me everywhere I went. I carried the hurt, the pain, and everything someone did to me wrong in a suitcase thinking it was locked away. As long as I locked it away, or kept this person away I had moved on. I realized that trying to move on with a ball chained to your leg is not living life at all.
I finally forgave two people that I needed to forgive, there were a lot more people but there were two very important people that needed to be forgiven and I forgave them, truly forgave them, and I decided that I wasn’t going to account for any wrongs. I was going to truly put the past behind me and move on with my life because I found that I cannot change the past. I cannot change the things that were said, or the things that happened, all I could do was accept that it happened, learn and grow from it, and move on with my life.
Unforgiveness keeps you trapped it keeps you down, how can you move forward when you are refusing to move your feet. Life isn’t a moving sidewalk, you have to walk through it, one step at a time, one day at a time, as long as you are moving forward, then you are living.
If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done. (Matthew 6:14-15)