Posted by arthur on February 12, 1998 at 19:04:07:
Don Henley reminds us all that "It's (all) about forgiveness."
Were I not able to forgive ("to make allowance"), my world would be so
cluttered with anger, bitterness, and resentment that I could not stand
to live in it!
Forgiveness comes small and large -- each day possesses multitudes of
small things over which I must make allowances! Each life has its large
events over which one is called to make allowances.
1) We forgive because somehow that is how the universe (God, others,
life) has treated us.
2) We forgive because forgiveness is first and foremost for the FORGIVER
-- I am freed from the burden of another's wrong toward me when I am
able to forgive.
To not forgive means that I carry that wrong in me, on me, with me
wherever I go, whatever I do. It affects who I am. It then has power
over me. To forgive is freeing because I am freed from the burden of
another's wrong toward me.
First, forgiveness is for the forgiver.
Whether or not it does anything for the forgiven, depends upon that
person -- and their ability to "redeem" the event that brought injury to
the other -- by acknowledging their wrong toward the other.
3) We forgive (make allowances) because we would want others to treat us
in that same fashion. It's the "golden rule" -- to teat others as you
would want them to treat you. I forgive because I would want to be
To forgive does not mean -- "Go ahead and do it again" however.
Maturity (the healthy personality) is one that is capable of forming
healthy relationships AND that is also capable of ending un-healthy
relationships (see the book of Matthew on this!).
Therefore, I may forgive you endlessly (70 times 70, or more!) but this
does not mean that I allow you to repeat your wrong to me again and
again. To do that would be to deny my own significance -- which would
be to deny that I matter to anybody, even to God! I do matter! I am
sgnificant. I do not deserve to be wronged again.
This does not mean revenge. It means an end to that relationship.
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