Wednesday, November 16, 2005

To Forgive Someone

Today, the Christian Science Monitor published a good article about forgiveness. Here's an excerpt from the article:

When people don't behave as you'd like or don't come to the same conclusions that you do, or when they actually do something damaging to you, how can you find peace? To me, forgiveness is the only way.

Dr. Fred Luskin of the Forgive for Good project at Stanford University characterizes forgiveness not as condoning what the other person has done, but as releasing resentment from within ourselves. It's only when we are free from resentment and anger that we can determine the next steps - does the person need correction, do we need to leave the relationship, etc.

I find this true with my kids and friends and fellow motorists. It's only when I'm free from anger or hurt that I can effectively decide what to do. And I try to take responsibility for my hurt, rather than blame the other person. They may have taken an action that I didn't like, but I'm the one that let it become a hurt to me. Even in the worst cases, I believe, the person who feels hurt or damaged can deflect those emotions through forgiveness.

Sometimes when I'm gritting my teeth in anger or smarting heartily from hurt feelings, I remember what Jesus said as he was hanging on the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." I sometimes translate this in my thought to, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing." This Christian standard of forgiveness doesn't demand that the other person change, but it helps release the resentment that eats away at us.


Over the years, I learned that I can't change people. I learned to accept family and friends the way they are without trying to change them. Whenever I'm hurt by someone, I become angry for a short time. Then, I let go of my anger by forgiving the person who hurt me. I also learned to forgive AND forget. It's the only way I can go on with my life without much pain or anger.


Blogger Liam said...

How true. I find it very liberating when I don't get angry at someone -- and it's not that hard when it's not a great offense. It's more liberating when it is a great offence, but much more difficult.

I have finally done the assignment, in my own silly way

11/16/2005 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

I'm really good with telepathy. I wrote you a comment a minute ago.

11/16/2005 05:56:00 PM  

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