As we approach a season of rebirth, let’s take a look at fresh clean starts and good decisions.
One of those decisions could surround forgiveness. The dictionary defines forgiveness as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. Giving forgiveness can take work.
If we want true forgiveness we have to give forgiveness.
Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Here are a few steps to get started.
1- Define your emotion. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK.
2- Decide your action. Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else.
3- Know that forgiving is not condoning. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurt you, or condoning of their action. What you are after is to find peace. Forgiveness can be defined as the “peace and understanding that come from blaming that which has hurt you less, taking the life experience less personally, and changing your grievance story.”
4- Understand what is happening or has happened. Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts and physical upset you are suffering now, not what offended you or hurt you two minutes – or ten years – ago. Forgiveness helps to heal those hurt feelings.
5- Manage your reaction. At the moment you feel upset practice a simple stress management technique to soothe your body’s flight or fight response.
Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving the person who caused you pain power over you, learn to look for the love, beauty and kindness around you.
Forgiveness is about personal power righteous living.
Remember if you are looking ahead you can see where you are going.