Forgiveness can be scary and difficult to deal with, yet I think it’s really important in helping us to be our very best. There are two sides to forgiveness; forgiving others and forgiving yourself. You might think I’ve forgotten about others forgiving you, but I didn’t.
While it is appropriate to be sincerely sorry for hurting someone, and appropriate to ask for forgiveness, we technically can’t control whether or not the other person will actually forgive us. We need to focus on what we can control, and that is our actions.
Forgiving others – The saying goes, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” If you think about it, this is perfectly true. Holding a grudge and being bitter or angry with someone who hurt you only hurts you more. The other person likely doesn’t even know you are mad at them. Even if they do know (and don’t care), why would you give that person the power to make you miserable while clinging to unforgiveness? Today’s challenge is to CHOOSE to forgive whomever it is that has you bitter, angry, hurt, etc. and embrace the FREEDOM of letting go of the pain. I’m not saying to forget it; memories are memories, the past is the past, what is done is done. I’m just saying to end the madness that bitterness and anger create in your head by choosing to forgive.
Forgiving yourself – Sometimes this is ever harder than forgiving someone else. I think it is for me. I’m pretty good at beating myself up over my past mistakes. Honestly, some mistakes still try to haunt me today. I have to choose the advice above to keep me from getting down. My past mistakes are part of what has shaped me to be who I am and where I am today. Hopefully I continue to learn from my mistakes and slowly but surely become better than I was yesterday. I don’t know about you, but I’m choosing to put the poison away.
If you feel like you have made too many mistakes to forgive yourself, I invite you to meet my friend Jesus. He is waiting to carry your burdens and help you find freedom from the past in his love, grace, and mercy. I would love to introduce you to Jesus if that sounds interesting to you.