Forgiveness

Being raised a Christian, I’ve found that one of the most important things Christians teach about is forgiveness.  It really is a freeing thing; growing up, I’ve learned just how valuable forgiving the people who have hurt me in the past can really be.  However, one thing that my Christian upbringing failed to emphasize is how seeking forgiveness is just as important as giving forgiveness.

Religion aside, it’s easy to agree on the importance of forgiveness.  When you forgive people in your own mind, you are letting go of the things they have done to you in the past; you release the hurt and the pain, and you move on.  I’ve always wondered, though, why (in Christianity at least) we only seek forgiveness from God, and not the people we’ve hurt and have done damage to?  And again, religion aside, don’t you think it’s important to make things right with the people YOU have wronged?

I personally have come to the conclusion that we as humans are a proud race, and while in our minds we want to believe that we’ve never done anything wrong to anyone, and we want to treat everyone respectfully, we are too proud to admit our faults.  I have also come to the conclusion that many Christians – not all – will seek forgiveness from God, or will go to confession, and then feel that everything is ok, as if they don’t need to make things right with the people they’ve hurt.  To me, that’s sad.

Why?  Because it’s almost as if they’re using religion as a cover-up, or as an easy way out, as if ‘making it right with God’ is good enough.  If there is anything Christianity has done to push me further away from it, it is this.

As said in my last post, I was raised Christian, and as I’ve grown up and began using my own brain, I’ve found that some of the things I was raised to believe are untrue, immoral, or wrong.  And while I believe in some of the things Christianity and the Bible teaches, I no longer am a religious person.  I don’t want to live my life feeling like a victim.

Instead, I want to love people, forgive those who have wronged me – including the church – and seek forgiveness from those that I’ve wronged.

I encourage you, whoever reads this, don’t wallow around in guilt.  If you have been wronged, forgive, and if you have ever wronged someone, and have had a change in heart, seek forgiveness.  While you may not receive it, at least you’ll know that you’ve tried.  Above all, I encourage you to show love & compassion to everyone you know; you don’t need to follow a god or religion to accomplish this, and there is no better salvation than giving love.

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3 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Great post, but I have a question. Everyone talks about forgiveness as a way to free yourself and move on…which I agree with. But how do you go about forgiving someone? I’ve tried many times to forgive certain people, and I always think I have forgiven them..However, the next time I see them, all of the anger I had towards them and the situation arises…Don’t know if you know the answer…just curious.

    • That’s a great question, and I don’t know if I have an exact answer for that myself, but I will say this…In my opinion, forgiving isn’t always forgetting, and it is natural for feelings to reoccur when you encounter someone or something that has done severe emotional damage. It’s also perfectly normal to be cautious when in those situations. For me, if I find myself around someone who has hurt me, or damaged me emotionally, while I may have feelings of anger or discontent, I still do my best to treat them respectfully. Does that mean I’ll let them back in my life, and risk being hurt agan? Not a chance.

      Forgiveness can be a long process, and sometimes it takes a lot of effort. There will always be feelings we can’t avoid, it’s how we deal with them that matters.

      • Okay, thank you. I guess I’ve always looked at is as once you forgive someone, you no longer have any negative emotions towards them; something that’s always seemed impossible to me. Your explanation is a helpful way to look at it and actually makes forgiveness seem attainable.

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