Forgiveness Q & A – Why Should I Forgive?

with 5 Comments

Why Should I Forgive? 

Q:           Whether or not the person who hurt me deserves to be forgiven by me, or whether or not I really should forgive them, honestly, I don’t even think about those kinds of questions. I have moved on. I am able to be a successful person in life without forgiving this certain person. It hasn’t affected me. So, if not forgiving doesn’t seem to be an obstacle to me, why should I forgive?

A:            Simple: your refusal to forgive is an obstacle and you don’t know it. You don’t know it because you haven’t yet experienced the difference between being released of the weight of resentment you are committed to carrying around, and what it feels like to be freed from that burden.

What I am conveying to you here is what I have read from multiple sources over the years, I have heard it directly from readers and people I personally know, and I have certainly experienced it for myself. 

To refuse to forgive is equal to holding on to something; a refusal to let go of a heavy weight of negativity from something in the past; a choice to carry a burden from the past into the present and future. It is only when you forgive that you are truly leaving the past in the past. 

Forgiving is more about releasing yourself of a burden of resentment than releasing the other person from anything. That’s a tremendous difference.

Is it easier to walk farther and faster with a heavy weight on your back, or with no weight at all? Will your car get better mileage with a thousand pounds of rocks in the trunk, or without? Will a plane fly further when it is weighed down with cargo and passengers, or when it has a lighter load?

So, why should you forgive? To forgive is to choose to no longer be weighed down by the negativity and pain and anxiety of that certain person and what they did, or failed to do, that caused you such pain and/or deep disappointment. To forgive (to no longer hold the offense against another) is to truly move on.

Here’s a fact almost everyone living in a state of unforgiveness toward another person refuses to admit: no one is as bad as the worst thing they have done (including the person you insist upon not forgiving). And no one is as good as the best thing they have done (and that includes you, too).

Whether we accept it or not, choosing not to forgive the other person is more of a hindrance to you than you think. And more likely than not, if they know what they did to hurt you, they deeply regret what they did. Perhaps they have even apologized and expressed hope that you might forgive them. In doing so, they’re saying they are moving on and they are hoping you choose to do the same. When you choose not to forgive, you are opting not to move on… and that’s an obstacle!



5 Responses

  1. lisa russeff
    | Reply

    Love obstacle blaster cant wait for more!

  2. Missy Morehart
    | Reply

    After many years, Mike finally has forgiven a family member that caused him much pain by something he did. What Mike didn’t realize, and what a lot of other people don’t realize, is that the unforgiving attitude (especially in a family) affect everyone around the person who refused to forgive. People change, and what that family member did years ago is not something he would do today, since he has grown and matured. If God can forgive us with the ultimate sacrifice, why shouldn’t we also forgive? I’m sure Mike felt like that weight had been lifted from his shoulders, and we had the best visit with this family member recently! Thanks for this timely blog!

  3. lisa russeff
    | Reply

    Lisa Rue Anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill your enemy.That is why Im learning to forgive.Love your obstacle blaster!Looking forward to more.

  4. Kathryn Kunchick
    | Reply

    Anyone who has ever lived with someone who carries around anger toward someone who supposedly hurt them decades ago can see firsthand what happens when a person chooses NOT to forgive. The are miserable, bitter, and not fun to be around. They can destroy the joy of all around them just by walking into a room. It is important to make sure that the minute we start to get angry or upset because of something someone else did or said, that we stop feeding the anger, and make a choice to forgive the offender, who more than likely doesn’t even know that they have offended us. It can be really hard in some cases, especially when abuse and children are involved in the picture. One of the things that made forgiveness easier for me was knowing that forgiveness does not always mean that the relationship will be reconciled. Once I learned that, it was easy to forgive. Making the choice to harbor resentment and anger is just that, a choice, and I’m not sure why anyone would choose to be miserable. Once forgiveness becomes a habit, life is so much more enjoyable, as is time spent with some of those people who always seem to be able to offend us without even trying.

    • Jim Aitkins
      | Reply

      Great comments. And so true. It is worth noting that though forgiveness does not always mean, as it does not require, that the relationship be reconciled, it is certainly THE prerequisite. It opens the door to reconciliation. In fact, some would say that forgiveness means that reconciliation has taken place with forgiveness — and then the only question is whether the relationship will ever be the same. And no, not in all cases will the relationship be the same as it once was. That’s not good… or bad. It just is. One day all things will be made all the way right.

      Jim Aitkins
      for Obstacle Blaster

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