“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” I am sure you have heard that saying many times. The truth is that the saying is misleading. Because while to err is human, to forgive is also human, aided by the divine.
Forgiveness is a tricky thing because our first thought when someone hurts us or treats us unfairly is to desire justice. We immediately want to hurt them back; we want them to hurt as badly as we did or worse; or to lose as much as we have lost—and more if possible.
These feelings and thoughts are OK as you first experience the hurt or injustice. But you cannot live there in hope of getting your desired justice. For your emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological wellbeing you must start the process of letting go. This entails letting go of the hurt as well as the desire for justice before you can move on.
This is not to say that the offender should not face the consequences of their actions. Nor should you bury your head in the sand and pretend everything is OK, and not seek justice where justice is due. Also, you should not put yourself in the same situation where you can be hurt again if you can avoid it. You must live in the reality of what has happened, and use wisdom and caution moving forward.
The point is that before you can pursue justice or seek desired consequences, you have to start the process of seeking to genuinely forgive the one who hurt you. The worst kinds of justice or desired consequences are the ones driven by the pain of an unforgiving heart. This kind of justice is usually driven my anger and emotional pain rather than a balance of reason and healthy emotions.
I know some hurts go deeper than others. No matter how deep the pain, the only road to freedom from the hurt is genuine forgiveness. Whether or not you think justice was served, you will never be free of the hurt unless you genuinely forgive those who have hurt you.
Many of us are still living with the pain of being hurt years ago, perhaps even decades ago. We have convinced ourselves that we were so wronged that we deserve the right to hold on to our pain and not forgive the offender. What you do not realize is that by holding on to the pain, you become a prisoner of your own making. The only person who is able to set you free is you.
You may have been hurt in the worst way imaginable and your pain may be unimaginable. In no way do I want to ignore your pain, because it is real. I do want to challenge you to begin the process of forgiving those who have caused you such deep pain, in order that you may be truly free from the hurt.
Experiencing healing and freedom from the hurt can only be achieved through genuine forgiveness. Genuine forgiveness is achieved when the pain inflicted by others is no longer a stumbling block in your life but has become a stepping stone for you moving forward.
If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at email@example.com to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.