In this hasty & fast times we often give ourselves no time for reflection. Either it is 'makeable' or not. If not? Then away with it! This is how we deal with relationships, friends, coworkers, people we meet and problems. So you get divorce on divorce, neighbors quarrelling on and disputes with colleagues. And also in traffic everything has to be fast and sharp and we only give ourselves space; other road users are a nuisance only and you may therefore cut them off the road, give them the finger or even hit them or crash them off the road ... But what if you get into a separation? Or if you have a long-term neighbor's quarrel? What if your husband, wife or child is fatally hit? It then usually goes from bad to worse; and forgiveness is more difficult than you think ...
Without forgiveness everything will be destroyed ...
That life without forgiveness is more than unhealthy indeed soon becomes apparent, because it will keep people in anger, misunderstanding, being powerlessness and in bitterness even if the grief has already gone far in the background. A kind of emptiness arises that seems to swallow up everything. It has also major consequences for your family life, for functioning at work, for your health and in dealing with friends and neighbors. Often the only urge living and aim concerns 'the personal satisfaction' in the form of revenge, condemnation or other penance of the other person(s) being sought or conceived. However: after that revenge or penance there is often no change in the emptiness and powerlessness, but usually completely ruined one's own life and the world of life; as well as one's character, emotions and how to (not) deal with it ... This is also why divorces often follow and/or broken friendships and broken down families in the wake of these developments. The arguments and inexcusability’s continue and destroy everything. That is why forgiveness and learning to forgive is so important!
Pain of the moment reigns
Why forgiving someone is so difficult? Because the resulting pain of the moment reigns. And without forgiveness, that pain is transformed into the long memory of everyday life and you are getting more and more involved. And so the pain remains endlessly and it always feels worse and worse. The pain is rotting within you while it is no longer about the content of events or argument; the true memory is often not even there anymore. That decay process only gives more pain, more powerlessness, bitterness and feelings of revenge. Steering on pain in this way takes your possibilities to relativism and thus also to be able to continue in a healthy, cheerful manner. And that is how your life dies in a literal and figurative sense.
Jesus calls on his followers for forgiveness
That is why Jesus teaches his disciples to forgive your neighbors. First of all, in connection with the "Our Father" in Matthew 6:14 where he states "if you forgive the people who are doing something wrong to you, the heavenly Father will also forgive you. If not, then he will not forgive you either! '.
In Matthew 18:21-22 Jesus even says that you must forgive '70 x 7 times and always be the basis'.
Yet in service of God that is not always so, because Jesus says in John 20: 22-23 "that Christians equipped with the Spirit can forgive sins of others, but if they do not the sins of those persons will not be forgiven by God but will be retained instead”. Maybe because certain sins cannot be forgiven? Mind you: the received Spirit is God, because God is Spirit thus God decides within/connected to you what you do or do not... So notice the difference between a Christian as a person in his daily life and the Christian active for others in Christ and Spirit!
In 2 Corinthians 2: 10 Paul also states that if you do not give forgiveness you give the devil every chance to ruin your life and that of others. To prevent this, learning to forgive is very important.
That is why Colossians 3: 12-15 also states that you must be tolerant, full of patience and full of pity; and thus urges to forgive each other as Jesus forgives. And as God forgives us all through Jesus. With forgiveness you are with the love that leads to a perfect unity in Christ and in Spirit. So there is peace in your heart. Of course it is not the intention to easily and lightly let theft, genocide, murder, war, terrorism and rape pass by to be swiftly forgiven. That would be a very wrong example and perhaps
lead to even more severe excesses.
Moreover: everyone needs time for mourning, for the treatment and healing of wounds. And in the case of serious crimes there may still be a legal case and punishment. All that takes time. Yet during and after this time, final forgiveness is really needed.
Forgiveness must be shown
At any moment and preferably as quickly as reasonably possible it is therefore important to make the forgiveness known to the other person, but certainly also for yourself! So that you can continue with your life in a spiritually and physically healthy way. Without letting the other person know that you forgive him/her and want to put the past to an end, the sting remains. So forgiveness "keeping one-sided to yourself" does not help and is in fact no forgiveness. Yet you do not have to literally pronounce 'I forgive you'. Simply picking up the relationship in kindness and cheerful way is often enough. It is usually understood as forgiveness; forgiveness that is sometimes pronounced later when the relationship is fully normalized.
Forgive and forget
It is important that with the forgiveness you really forget the pain and other bad feelings or memories. Otherwise you may have pronounced and pursued the forgiveness, but the resentful anger, bitterness and powerlessness will keep growing from within. Then at any moment you may lash out or get into arguments; and often with people who have nothing to do with the person(s) your animosity is actually aiming at. You are still going to be broken socially, physically and mentally. Forgiving and forgetting is therefore very important!
How can you 'transfer' forgiveness?
Because forgiving in this current world and society is so unusual and therefore even more difficult, I want to give some examples of how you can grant forgiveness to the other:
- You can do it 'directly': simply say that you forgive someone and that you want to continue with that person;
- You can do it 'indirectly': just by talking to someone again, by going to somebody or greeting them just as you did in good times;
- You can refrain from criminal prosecution by refraining from reporting a person or bringing him/her to court or breaking off a court procedure.
- You can plan a meeting on neutral ground to meet each other to talk, where you can quickly and sincerely know that all is forgiven and forgotten and that you want to continue with the relationship or contact.
And then further ...
However fine the discharge of forgiveness can and will be: it may not lead to a renewed relationship. Yet this is certainly not something to get angry about again or withdraw your forgiveness. Certainly not! The time spent in argument may already have alienated you from each other. Everyone went his own way and that's fine. Live and let live. So do not take offense of it when, at most, incidental contact occurs; or even no contact at all. Having contact or coming to a renewed relationship is not a condition for forgiveness!! If there is renewed contact or even a relationship, do it slowly, but go for it. Do not make it difficult for yourself or the other person. Give each other enough time and space to come to complete emotional and spiritual recovery. Work together to create new memories and so on a new future together.
Forgiveness, mercy & daily prayer
Forgiveness and mercy we would also like for ourselves. And so our daily prayer is directed to praying for example through the "Our Father", but also simply in personal prayer why you ask forgiveness for ground missteps against God, Commandment and the neighbors.
The "Our Father" (Matthew 6: 9-13)
"Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
your Kingdom come; your will be done,
as in heaven also on the earth.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors ;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one "* .
To conclude with: "I ask You in Jesus name, amen."
*The rest of the Our Father is not what Jesus teaches, but what was added later by church workers / theologians. So it is in fact a forgery and anti-Christian that actually "stand in the place of Christ" means! Here Jesus is put words in the mouth that he did not speak!
If you want to be forgiven...
What we want for ourselves: shall we keep that from someone else ?! Jesus thus gives a clear answer to it in Matthew 6:14 and Matthew 18:21 . He states that he who does not forgive is not forgiven by God. And even more that you have to forgive '70x7 times'. Yet the most important thing is that the possibility of forgiving others in advance already lives in your heart when you become or become a Christian. However, there are things that conflict so severely with God, Jesus, Commandments and Christians that their forgiveness can only be given by God Himself. Then you can always pray for those people or events and bring them before God. And even in that prayer is a form of forgiveness ...
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