Forgiveness is, no doubt, one of the most difficult and complex issues for human beings to contend with. Coincidently, it’s also the central tenant of the Christianity – one that shapes the faith system like no other. Christ, in an ultimately unselfish act of love, gave his life to save human kind. The purpose behind His actions? Forgiveness. Now, whether you personally accept this as truth is strictly subjective, but the lessons behind these occurrences are plentiful (even if you believe that they’re mythical).
Unfortunately, in modern-day society forgiveness is, often times, just a word. I have personally struggled with this issue many times. Throughout my life I’ve faced many challenges in which forgiveness was necessary – but I’ve often chose the opposite (a bitter heart and anger).
At the end of the day, it’s terribly difficult to look at an individual who has done you wrong and to accept an apology that simply cannot wash away all of the hurt, pain and suffering that he or she has caused. This is an entirely different story when the person who has harmed you isn’t ready or willing to apologize (this can be much worse, as you may know). In either case, we’re commanded to forgive.
Sure, we can live a life of regret and anger, but living in the past is like living in darkness – it’s time gone that can never be recaptured. By holding on to anger, one brings the terrible atrocities committed by foes and actually carries they through time, enabling them to infect each hour with horrific intensity. This isn’t what God would want for our lives.
After all, if we can’t go back to change it, why let it continue to control us? When I look at Jesus’ story, refusing to forgive is simply not an option. I mean – think about it; He came, died and left this earth all in an effort to forgive the sins of mankind – and we didn’t even have to ask.
Often times I wonder, “Hey, if God continues to forgive me for my mistakes, how is it that I can’t forgive others?” It’s a tough battle, but as time persists I continue to learn the value of forgiving and letting go of anger. As I said, I’m not perfect by any means, but I try. Pretending to be an expert would be irresponsible, but I understand the importance behind the concept and an attempt to forgive is the least each individual should practice in his or her life.
Christianity teaches us that to love one another – even if we don’t like each other. Refusing to forgive leads to personal issues – even wars. Many of the world’s religious conflicts center on hate – something that religious individuals should be devoid of. Somewhere – somehow people lose themselves and their infectious anger and resentment take them over; it’s unfortunate.
At the end of the day it’s important to find peace – and the only way to find that peace that surpasses understanding is to open-heartedly forgive those who have negatively affected your life in some manner.