A (little) Rant Re: Forgiveness

Forgive and Forget.  Nope.

‘Tis the season for forgiveness.  Why?  It irks me that during this time of the year one hears how one: 1)  shouldn’t hold grudges, 2) show mercy, 3) let go of resentment, blah, blah, blah.

I’m all for forgiveness.  Really, I am.  I’m a nice person—ask Better Half!  But, in order to forgive, shouldn’t the other offending person want and ask for forgiveness?  I’m just not in the habit, nor am I willing to develop the habit, of forgiving willy-nilly.  The offending person should offer an apology, acknowledgment of their misdeed(s), restitution, something, anything!  But to ask me to forgive because “it’s the right thing to do” doesn’t fly in my book.  Can’t do it.  Won’t do it.  If they don’t want to be forgiven, then what are you forgiving? At that point, forgiving is acting like what happened, did not.

Give me a reason to forgive you.  Trust me, I don’t want to hold on to grudges.  “Cowboy/Cowgirl Up” and take responsibility for your actions.  Good karma will then come your way.

‘Tis the season to ask for forgiveness.

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cherel
    Mar 14, 2011 @ 00:09:38

    Jesus is the only pure innocent person who ever lived. When He died on the cross, it was for our sins. He had no guilt of His own. In the process He prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    They knew they were behaving barbarically. They knew they were killing an innocent man. They knew they were wrong. But they didn’t know He was God in the flesh. They didn’t know He was dying in their place. They didn’t know they were party to the greatest crime in history!

    All criminals have some level of knowledge concerning their wrongness but they also have some blind spots. For whatever reason, they lack compassion and empathy. They cannot put themselves in their victim’s place. At some level, “they know not what they do.” They do not fully realize the consequences of their behavior for their victims or themselves.

    This does not excuse the behavior. It does not exempt them from prosecution to the full extent of the law now and the Judgement of God in eternity if they fail to repent. But it does broaden our thinking and may stir our own compassion and empathy. Outside the legal system, only those among us “without sin” are allowed to cast stones. God says, “Vengeance is Mine says the LORD. I will repay.” No one gets away with anything. They face God now or in the end.

    In Matthew Chapter 6, Jesus said for us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Then He followed with the statement, “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
    He also told a parable about how upset a King became when he forgave one of his debtors a huge debt and that fellow went out and refused to forgive another man of a tiny debt (by comparison). We are in that situation. We are all debtors who must look to God for mercy, and He says those who will not extend mercy will receive none.

    True forgiveness flows out of gratitude for forgiveness received. No other source of forgiveness is strong enough to release “heavy” debts. I pray forgiveness will flow in and through the reader in need of it, by the grace of God. I am sorry for your pain. God offers you release and peace through forgiveness.

    Reply

  2. Audrey Manier
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 15:21:11

    Quite a beautiful website. I just finished mine and i was looking for some design ideas and your website gave me some. The website was developed by you?

    Cheers

    Reply

  3. nancyspoint
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 07:14:03

    Hi,
    I was thinking I totally agree with you and then I read the other comments and guess I need to rethink a bit. Forgiveness can be tough to give sometimes, I do know that. Perhaps it’s a process. How many years out from breast cancer are you?

    Reply

    • KarmaPerDiem aka WhiteRiverBluff
      Jan 11, 2011 @ 07:27:41

      I know; reading the comments has really got me thinking. I’m like you’ it’s a process and I know without a shadow of a doubt forgiveness (at least for me) cannot happen automatically.

      I’m 4.5 years out from my BC diagnosis. Anxiously awaiting that magic number 5! I’m fixing to pop over to your blog and check YOU out!

      Reply

  4. Amanda
    Jan 09, 2011 @ 08:22:30

    When you with-hold forgiveness you are doing nothing but hurting yourself. It should have NOTHING to do with the other person.

    I love this quote, “Unforgivable is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

    If you wait around for people to seek your forgiveness when you have wronged them you just set yourself up for failed relationships over and over again. Why?
    1. That is really egotistical and when you are consumed with self you are blinded to truth.
    2. They will NEVER come. You will spend a lifetime harboring pain that you could have let go with a few easy words.

    Of course, this all works much better when you have a relationship with Jesus and can understand that when He died on the cross for you, He paid the ultimate sacrifice FOR YOU. Your sins are forgiven, you just need to seek Him out and repent.

    Humbling, but completely rewarding and satisfying.

    Reply

  5. Loraine Kuhre
    Jan 08, 2011 @ 23:30:38

    Thanks for this post. I almost definitely agree with what you are saying. I have been talking about this subject a lot lately with my father so lets hope this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed!

    Reply

  6. Trackback: A Recent “Aha!" Moment | dswalkerauthor
  7. Sandie {A Bloggable Life |365}
    Jan 08, 2011 @ 05:48:50

    Lisa, I am in complete agreement with Sue—you forgive people for yourself and your own reasons, not because the other person asked you to (besides, it’s impossible to forgive on someone else’s timetable).

    Without going into details, I went through some pretty horrific things years ago. For a long time, I carried around the resentment, anger, fear, and pain those events caused me. They were a burden to hold onto—every bit as much a burden as the actual events themselves, just in a different way.

    I’m not really sure what made me decide to forgive the source of that pain and move on. Through many sources (Oprah, etc.), I had heard that forgiveness is the only way to go, and it might have had something to do with a book I read by Marianne Williamson. Regardless, one day I decided to make peace with the things that had happen and forgive the person who caused them—not because they asked, but because I wanted to move on, let go, and create my own good karma—not keep living a life based on grudges and resentments I was hanging onto.

    For me, forgiving was the most liberating thing I’ve ever done. It allowed me to be create a life I wanted to live, not a life based on past events I was still reacting to. My forgiveness allowed any power those old events were holding over me to evaporate, disintegrate, right before my very eyes. And it happened quickly like that too, once I forgave and let go.

    Does the person I forgave know they were forgiven? No. And I don’t care that they do. The forgiveness was mine to internalize and it gave me a sense of release—a sense of freedom—that I hadn’t known in sometime. Forgiving released me from a self-imposed prison of resentment.

    But I took my forgiving one step further—I prayed for this persons forgiveness too, and when I did that, I stopped to consider how God might see this person (how God might see the whole picture and forgive with more grace than I could). That’s another story, but I believe the power of forgiveness is tied to the power to love unconditionally—like God might.

    People always think of unconditional love as pertaining to their spouse or children, but it goes much deeper than that. So really, when you forgive, you are learning to love, as crazy as that might sound.

    Here’s a quote you might enjoy from Wayne Dyer, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

    Something to think on…

    Reply

  8. Sue
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 16:00:51

    Lisa,
    I’ll e-mail you back in a few minutes, but thanks for your nice comment. Honestly though, I’m not as far in the process as Immaculee either. She is the one who is truly amazing. When I falter, I remind myself that if she can forgive, I certainly should be able to also. Believe me it isn’t always easy!

    Reply

  9. Sue
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 15:16:37

    Lisa,
    I thought that way too until four years ago. I read a book called “Left to Tell” by Immaculee Ilibagiza, a Rwandan Holocaust survivor. I also went to hear her speak in person. It totally changed my way of thinking. She believes you forgive for yourself not for the other person. I agree with her, as I’ve found that if I hold onto anger it hurts me. Neither Immaculee nor I believe forgiveness is the same thing as forgetting. You can check out my blog post, Lessons of Forgiveness | dswalkerauthor for more information.
    Aloha,
    Sue

    Reply

    • KarmaPerDiem aka WhiteRiverBluff
      Jan 07, 2011 @ 15:50:05

      Sue, you sound like an amazing person. I sent you an email re: your comment. I’d like to get to the place of forgiveness you are talking about, but I’m afraid I’m not even close…. I just have a hard time understanding why there are so many evil, mean people in this World who feel the need to purposely be the way they are….

      Reply

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