Monday, December 21, 2009

The Gift Of Forgiveness

Last night, I read a quote that made me pause for a while and inspired me to write this post:

"Bitterness and an unforgiving spirit can be likened to you taking poison and expecting that someone else would die from the effect. Forgiveness is about setting the prisoner in your heart free only to discover that all along, you had been the real prisoner." I realized I need to do a better job of letting go and just forgive. After all, I have not been good at forgiving others, not very well.

Since early childhood I've been taught not to bear grudges against my fellow men; that I should always be willing to forgive those who had caused me pain cause this is what God commanded us, as Christians. The first quote I memorized by heart and mind from grade school is "To err is human, to forgive is Divine." Later in life did I learn that it is easily said than done.

And how do you forgive someone who doesn't bother to ask forgiveness and the worst part is, the person doesn't even care that he hurt you and you spent many sleepless nights feeling upset, wandering how some people could be so insensitive and not realize the extent of their action. It's hard to forgive somebody who caused you pain, so much more to give it to someone who is not asking for it.

So I read the quote again. Then I realized that all those times that I was stubborn and not willing to forgive, I had been the real prisoner. It was I who was trapped, I wasn't hurting anyone else by not getting past the situation that occurred long ago. And I thought about why I hadn't forgiven sooner.

And it came down to courage. I'm not as fearless as I thought I was. I have so many excuses. All the things I mentioned don't make me strong inside, it's all external junk that I really don't need. I need to be strong, and just forgive, no Ifs no Buts. I need to have the courage to get rid of all the excuses and move forward, just forgive and forget.

That's what I wish for you this holiday season. I hope you'll take some time and give yourself a gift of forgiveness. Whatever is holding you back from forgiving, remember, you are the prisoner, and not the person you have not forgiven. The key to your freedom is in your hand...

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