“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.”
What is forgiveness? Well, I’ll be clear on what it’s not. It isn’t giving someone a pass for an unjustifiable wrong done to you. In fact, the dictionary says it means to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw or mistake. Somewhere along the way our culture has painted a picture where the victim tells the perpetrator, Oh, that’s fine what you did. You don’t even have to feel bad. I forgive you. Some of us growing up in dysfunctional homes were forced to issue apologies for things we didn’t do. And that’s why we confuse the definition of what forgiveness really is-a powerful shift of focus onto ourselves and creating the lives of our dreams.
This confusion is illustrated by the synonyms suggested for the word forgive: Pardon. Remit. Excuse. Condone. Absolve.
None of those things are required for forgiveness. The only thing you want to do is to free your mind and body to live without your precious energy being focused on that person. Forgiving someone means squarely placing all the blame on that person. It also means that now your world is different and you’ve got to accept that. Now you have to take responsibility for who you allow into your world. You might have to stop talking to someone and instead of feeling like a bad person, you will feel like a victorious protector of your own life! And you can take the knowledge from that experience, even if it was having to face that there is true evil in the world, and use it to your advantage. You can use it as a shield to protect yourself in the future. You can be a support and light to others so that they can see a life beyond what terrible thing happened to them.
People say all the time, the Bible tells us to forgive. But in Luke 17:3, Jesus tells us we are to forgive someone who sins against us, IF he repents. God does not want us to be abused.
Forgiving doesn’t mean you cower to anyone or let someone repeat the behavior and use you as a doormat. It means you grow stronger, not weaker. You identify the wrongdoer as weak and pathetic, and turn your attention toward building the life they tried to prevent you from having.
Mal Duane is a Best Selling Author and Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships. Mal has been featured with Fox 25 Boston Morning Show, CBS Radio, Aspire Magazine, Healthy Living and Metrowest Daily News. She has also been a featured guest on over one hundred Blogtalk Radio shows discussing recovery and personal transformation.
Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a best selling book and is available on Amazon.com.