Learning to forgive is something very valuable. One thing that I have learnt about forgiveness is that often, I have do so because I know it will be more beneficial to myself than the other person/persons. Holding on to anger or bitterness will not better you as a person, or make you any happier. So it’s important to learn to forgive, even if the offender is not sorry.
And forgiveness does not equal pardon. I’ve heard so many people say, “I wish I could forgive so and so, but I don’t think what they did was right.”
Forgiveness is a decision to not hold resentment against another person. Pardoning is dismissing what a person has done. You can be opposed to what a person has done to you, and know it wasn’t right, but still forgive them. It doesn’t make what they did to you okay. It means that you have decided to not hold anger or bitterness against them. So forgiveness doesn’t even mean that this person should remain in your life. (I’m talking for cases where this is necessary.)
Forgiveness is a choice, like many things in life. You may not necessarily feel happy with that person, or feel joy or peace about them and the offense. However, through forgiveness true peace can come.
I know some people may disagree with me, and say there are some people who should not be forgiven. Forgiveness can be hard. But for me, only through forgiveness have I been able to heal from the situation, and gain peace and freedom. Because holding on to resentment is just going to drag me down.
I guess what helps me with this, and makes forgiveness easier for me, is my Christian faith. Jesus died on the Cross for all our sins. He forgave everyone. The murderers, the thieves, the regular people, you and me. He even forgave the people who killed Him.
Knowing that Jesus could forgive His killers, and knowing that he has forgiven me for every one of my sins puts it all in perspective for me. How on earth could I not forgive others in return? How can I expect forgiveness from God, when I refuse to do the same for others?
Forgiveness is not always easy, but it’s freeing. I promise you, you will not look back and regret the choice to forgive.