Today I ask the question, “Who do you need to forgive and why? I had a conversation with a friend over the weekend about anger and the benefits of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a funny thing, where by doing it, you not only release the other person from your anger but you also free yourself. Do you realize how much energy you put into keeping an old score unsettled? How it is a constant reminder of how someone did us wrong? How that moment or series of moments keeps playing the scene over and over again in our head, like a movie that never changes? Is this a good use of our time and energy? Who is our anger really affecting? Us or them?
When you don’t forgive someone, you take it upon yourself to keep that anger near the surface. You give that anger active power, power that could be directed towards what you do want, not what you don’t want. It has been said that whatever you focus on comes back to you into your life, whether the focus be positive or negative.
If you insist on not forgiving, for whatever reason that works for you, you are really causing more anger to manifest itself. Perhaps you never looked at it this way. Perhaps you think your anger is justified because we don’t know all of the facts. Perhaps you think that you will look weak and the other person will win, if you forgive them.
I remember a story I saw on TV years ago. A woman had been torched, wrapped in bandages and in pain, when the interviewer asked her if she hated the person who had done this to her? She thought for a split second and responded with a, “No”. When asked why not, she said she didn’t want that person to have power over her. She didn’t want that person constantly in her thoughts. She said she forgave him, not because it helped him, but because to forgive helped her. She needed every ounce of energy possible to make a recovery and she wouldn’t waste once ounce more on her attacker.
When Jesus was hanging on a cross, dying for something He had never done, His last words were “Father forgive them.” Whenever I have been wronged I try to think about the wrongs which Jesus had happen to Him. He never, ever deserved the punishment He was given, yet He was willing and He forgave. He forgives you and me as well; and for that I am so grateful.
Try it; forgive someone today for what they did to you yesterday, last year, ten years ago, etc. Who feels better? Them or you? Release yourself from the burden of carrying around anger and move forward and focus on what you really want, what we all want; love, understanding and forgiveness.