Posted by: Darlene DeStefano on 12/30/2016

WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary  to cease to feel resentment against (an offender)


BIBLE verse on Forgiveness 

Matthew 6:14-15 

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


 Mayo Clinic- Forgiveness is letting go of grudges and bitterness. Forgiveness is when you personally undergo a change in feelings and attitude in regard to an offence made against you. Forgiveness allows you to let go of negative emotions such as revenge, spitefulness, and hurting the other person because you are hurting. 


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We humans are considered intelligent beings. We have to make decisions and live with the consequence of our decisions. Intelligence means to control our emotions, identify the best option, or make our choice based on possible consequences. 


The world moves forward; not one day can be lived over. Most of the time we just drift along with the flow in mix of requests or stipulations from the past, expectations of others, and the weariness of our own fatigue. Many events we encounter can’t be changed or avoided. 


Forgiveness presents an opportunity to rise above the chains of causes and effects, and for a moment, to determine the direction of future events.


With forgiveness processing, as with any treatment, the first questions that you have to ask are, “Do you want to get better?” and, “Are you willing to endure the discomfort connected with getting better?” Life is about choices. Acceptance, forgiveness, and moving on are some of those choices.

There is a great deal of talk about the forgiveness process, yet there is little practice forgiveness. Forgiveness has become a lost art, a philo- sophical abstraction. It has degenerated into something that the other person should beg for. And unless he pays up, publicly apologizes, and suffers properly, we’re not going to give him or her the satisfaction.


We’ve turned our forgiveness into a revenge fantasy. We fantasize that the other person needs it, and that we’re not going to give it until we’ve humiliated and degraded him or her. It is delusional to believe that

withholding our forgiveness gives us any kind of leverage over an abuser. Our refusal to forgive hurts us, not them. Our refusal to forgive is a second injury that we do to ourselves after the initial wound. Certain Eastern religions believe that if we do not forgive, we carve resentment so deep into our minds that it carries to our next life. Seen in this light, not forgiving is just plain foolish.


take the Forgiveness Questionnaire. Grab a pen and a piece of paper.


This how forgiving you are questionnaire is designed to help you to make a quick assessment of your capacity to forgive. It will provide insight into the nature of your interpersonal relationships.


Please answer the following questions as honestly as you can. Rate each one on a scale of 1 to 5 whereas

1 = Strongly disagree

2 = Disagree

3 = Neutral

4 = Agree

5 = Strongly Agree


  1. I continue to behave negatively toward a person who has done something that I think is wrong. 
  2. If someone does something bad to me, I will retaliate. 
  3. I continue to be unpleasant towards others who have hurt me.
  4. I find it very difficult to overcome bad situations in my life. 
  5. If others mistreat me, I will think poorly of them. 
  6. I hold on to grudges and negative feelings over perceived wrongdoings.
  7. I don’t need much provocation to get back at another person. 
  8. I continue to feel resentful even if the offender has asked for forgiveness. 
  9. I am not really the forgiving type. 
  10. I find it difficult to accept any remorse and sorrow expressed by others for their actions or words that have hurt or disappointed me. 
  11. I often feel that I have had a rough deal in life.
  12. I strongly believe that if someone makes mistakes, or act wrongly, there should be consequences. 
  13. I seem to get into arguments more often than other people.
  14. I often feel very resentful about things.
  15. I find it very hard to let go of grievance.
  16. I am always on my guard against people who may hurt me.
  17. It would be very difficult for me to forgive my partner if I thought that he/she had betrayed me.
  18. I would find it hard to forgive a colleague if he/she took advantage of me. 
  19. I find it very difficult to let go of anger and hatred. 
  20. I don’t have the kind of worldview that welcomes forgiveness.


Look at your ratings. Add up the points.. If you arrived at a score of 40 or less, you belong to the group of people who are truly forgiving. If you score 80 or above, forgiving is something that doesn’t come naturally to you. You will be a happier person, however, if you work on forgiveness. If you score between 40 and 80, you belong to the group of people who are able to forgive, but not without difficulties. 


If all of your answers to these questions are affirmative, you are not alone; most people are reluctant to turn the other cheek. While forgiveness is never easy, bitterness seems to be easier - as is hatred. But what about the people who are prepared to forgive?


In its simplest form, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. What hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness will decrease or eliminate its grip on you and help you focus on other more positive areas of your life. Forgiveness often  leads to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the person who hurt you.


Forgiveness doesn't minimize or justify the wrong done, nor does it mean that you deny the other person's responsibility for hurting you. You can forgive the person but not excuse the act.


Making decisions is each person’s responsibility. The result of that decision can weigh you down with guilt, sadness, anger; or it can set you free. One of the toughest decisions that we ever have to make is the decision to forgive.


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