But I AM right! I am not the one who lied. I am not the one who gossiped and made up stories. I am NOT the one who lost my temper. So why should I forgive her? I am justified in my anger. I am the one who was hurt. She never apologized. She is going to get away with this. This is not fair! She won’t get caught. They won’t be found out. This in not right! They will succeed and no one will ever know what they have done wrong. I am the one who was hurt in all of this, not her.
I think of all the times when I was the “victim” of things, when I didn’t stand up for myself, and when I was hurt by others. How ‘righteous” I am because I don’t attack others outright. And how bitter I can become by being the “victim”.
Right now, I am reading “Total Forgiveness” by R. T. Kendall. I resonated so much with his comments about, “I was wronged.” and “he/she hurt me”, “they lied, not me”, etc., etc. What I am finding is that if I hold a grudge, he/she/they aren’t hurt at all. It is me who is hurt. I need to let go of the bitterness, forgive them, and move on. Kendall says, “The person who gains the most from forgiveness is the person who does the forgiving”. This is so true! He says that forgiveness releases the bitterness in our hearts concerning what others have done – but it doesn’t mean that we need to go on holiday with those who have hurt us!
I have always found it easier to forgive someone when they ask for forgiveness, as compared to when they don’t ask. So now the challenge is for me to take that next step to forgive people who have hurt me, even without them asking for forgiveness. I find that my level of forgiveness often fluctuates, depending on the day, how many cars I had to dodge, how much conversation I really understood, my local pet peeves of honking horns and spitting, and other little stressors.
While I won’t stand on my soapbox and demand that everyone do this, I just wonder how different our neighborhoods, cities, countries and the world would be if we each gave others just a little bit more forgiveness…
This is my 2¢ worth for today, and the Chinese equivalent in this photo. If you had asked a “penny for my thoughts”, and I had given you my two cents worth, what would happen to that extra penny? Would you pocket it?