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Old 08-05-2003, 09:25 PM   #1
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Forgiveness....What is it?

Is it something that happens inside? Is it something that has to manifest itself outside?

What is it?

How do you forgive?
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:22 PM   #2
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Good question - it is definitely something that is easier at some times and much harder in other situations. For me, as a Christian, it means actively saying to the person (when possible), "I forgive you" and then asking Christ to help me do that. I ask Him to heal my wounds, and to give me strength to put in to practice that promise of forgiveness (eg, not continuing to bring up the wrongdoing). It doesn't mean forgetting, but it means letting go of the hatefulness so that it doesn't eat you alive. And I think in many, many cases, this is not something we can do just of our own willpower.
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:34 PM   #3
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I've always thought that true forgiveness is to forget. If you keep some memory alive of whatever this wrong doing is, then have you truly forgiven. If I forgive a close friend of mine for lying to me, then what's the point of keeping a memory of it.
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:42 PM   #4
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Dread,

Those are really good questions.


I try to let go of resentment and forgive as much as possible.

Forgiveness is more a gift for you
than for the person that offended you.
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:00 PM   #5
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I am not really talking about the simple stuff like lying. There are many more difficult things to forgive someone for. Or maybe it is not all that difficult.....
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:02 PM   #6
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BLS hit it right on the head. I really can't forgive people without asking God to help me along with it. God is of course the expert on that subject.
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:21 PM   #7
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You're right dread, I think in instances where trust has been broken it is much more difficult - and I don't think it is prudent to say, I forgive you, we'll just pretend this never happened. Forgiving someone and giving them your trust are 2 different things. Deep said what I was trying to say - that forgiveness is more for your benefit than for the other person.
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave
You're right dread, I think in instances where trust has been broken it is much more difficult - and I don't think it is prudent to say, I forgive you, we'll just pretend this never happened. Forgiving someone and giving them your trust are 2 different things. Deep said what I was trying to say - that forgiveness is more for your benefit than for the other person.
Maybe that is what I am getting at. Does someone have to offer trust to another person to demonstrate forgiveness?
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:32 PM   #9
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When my youngest son was born with his complications, I had a real issue with this. It took years but the moment I gave myself forgiveness, I was then able to forgive God and since he forgave me a long time ago, we're even. Forgiving anyone or everything after that is a piece of cake. Paul's been with God for years now, and I'm so glad we came to this understanding. I truly can't harbor un-forgiveness. It eventually hurts too much. I have to let it go. I know this sounds simplistic, but that's the way I came to know some peace. It's served me well.
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:39 PM   #10
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Sue,


Thank you for sharing that.

It is sad when people lose faith because of misfortunes like your family suffered.

I am always reccomending Kushner's book "When Bad Things Happeen to Good people"
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Old 08-06-2003, 09:58 AM   #11
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I'm not sure if forgetting is part of true forgiveness. It seems to me that it might just be a superficial way to let go without dealing with the root problem. If one can face the wrong head on, name it for what it is, and then make a choice to forgive, then healing is possible. But I guess the way I see it, forgetting trivializes both the need for forgiveness and the act of it. That probably sounds disjointed. lol.

I had an experience where someone I trusted implicitly not only broke that trust but betrayed me with another person who I also trusted. At first I found some measure of healing in my anger towards them both. Then as the rage passed, I found I was able to forgive. But not without facing up to the hurt and acknowledging that what had happened was wrong. And I will never forget it. But that doesn't mean I can't move beyond it. Forgiveness releases the hold of the wrong on me. It allows me to act independently of that harm, not because of it.
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:16 AM   #12
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When God forgives us, our sins are separated from us as far as the east is from the west. To me, that sounds like an element of forgetting.

But as BLS pointed out, it can't truly be done until we ask God for help.
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Old 08-06-2003, 12:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
Forgiveness releases the hold of the wrong on me. It allows me to act independently of that harm, not because of it.
Do you have to trust that person again to show forgiveness? Acting independantly of that harm does it mean that you extend that trust towards them again?
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Old 08-06-2003, 01:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


Do you have to trust that person again to show forgiveness? Acting independantly of that harm does it mean that you extend that trust towards them again?
I'd say not. I think you can forgive someone without trusting them again. But that may depend on how you define "trust". Acting independently, at least as I see it, means that what that person did to me no longer has control over my choices in the future. That's got to be something internal. I choose to forgive them, to release them from my desire for revenge and what may be a legitimate grievance. Thus I too am freed to move forward.
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Old 08-06-2003, 01:19 PM   #15
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But that may depend on how you define "trust". Acting independently, at least as I see it, means that what that person did to me no longer has control over my choices in the future. .... I choose to forgive them, to release them from my desire for revenge and what may be a legitimate grievance. Thus I too am freed to move forward.
Well, suppose you have no desire for revenge. You have searched your soul and there is not an ounce of desire for that.

As for having control over choices, that is where the quandry is. To trust would mean allowing a relationship to start up again. Do you have to let a relationship begin again to demonstrate forgiveness?
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