What Is Forgiveness
and Who is Worthy Of It?
Do I need it ? Do I have it? Do I Need to give it?
What is forgiveness? I think that we instinctively know the answer to that question, but simply put, it's basically a debt that we owe that no longer requires payment.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where we say and do harmful things to one another from time to time. And once we've said or done something regrettable, can we take it back? Can we make it so that it's all better, like it never happened? No.
That's why forgiveness is such a tremendous thing to be given, because really, it is impossible to make any payment at all that would make up for our misdeeds.
There is really no even exchange. Here's what I mean...
- "I called you a bunch of names, now here's a dozen roses."
- "I missed every one of your baseball games. How about I take you out for ice cream?"
- "I pushed you off a cliff, but I am driving as fast as I can to get you to the hospital!"
All of these things may be nice gestures, but they in no wise erase the wrong.
Four More Questions To Ask
Do I Need It?
Any time that we have done something that has hurt someone there will be a looming debt. We can try to pay down the debt in monthly or even weekly installments of good deeds, but the balance remains. It can actually grow and fester - as if it were accumulating interest - when not paid in full.
Do I Have It?
What is forgiveness? We said that forgiveness is when NO payment is required. We clearly owe, but they say, "Forget about it!"
Why? How? It's actually very mysterious, if you ask me, and wonderful! It's an exchange of heart felt emotions.
When real acknowledgment, sorrow, and humility come together in an apology they have the power to wipe the biggest slate clean.
Do I Need to Give It?
Depending on the wrong, we may be furious, hurt, or maybe even close to feeling destroyed. Are we supposed to tap into some deep mental or emotional aspect of our being and simply "forgive", never to require a payment of sorts?
Ummm, that's simply not natural. It is not how we were made. I said that I believe that forgiveness is something that we understand instinctively.
So, when we've been wronged, we naturally require payment, and a box of chocolates just isn't gonna do it for us - is it?
Who Is Worthy Of It?
No one is worthy of nor deserves forgiveness. It's not about entitlement. It's all about humility and confession.
Forgiveness is something that those that deny their wrongs or make excuses for their wrongs can never obtain.
How To Forgive
If you believe that the question "what is forgiveness?" has been answered, you probably have an idea of how to forgive as well.
Forgiving someone is based on our perception of the debtor's sincerity.
Let's lay out some scenarios based on a debt of 100...
- They owe you 100, but only admit to 50
- They tell you that 100 isn't that big of a deal
- They totally deny that 100 ever existed
How to forgive that type of debtor? Well, you can't. They owe you 100 and won't pay up.
Should you hound them for payment? Most likely you'll never be satisfied no matter how you try to make them "pay for their actions".
It's better for you in the long run if you just right it off as a bad debt and move on.
So, what is forgiveness? It's when humility and graciousness meet.
It's when they owe one hundred, but they feel they owe two hundred.
It's when their apology feels like a million!
What is forgiveness? It's mysterious and wonderful.
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