How Can I Forgive?

Anger dominated his thoughts. Like a slow poison, a litany of bitterness rolled over and over in his mind.

“I did my best. It’s just not fair. Their expectations are way too high.

All they do is nitpick. None of them are perfect either.

Two of them are out to get me. They just want rid of me.”

After several weeks, he offered his letter of resignation. His anger increased to a fever pitch when it was accepted. Now, rejected and bitter, feeling wronged and persecuted, he must move on. How?

Forgiveness is the antidote to the poison of bitterness Forgiveness isn’t easy, partly because we’ve been taught that to forgive we must forget. For some, forgetting means that somehow we must pretend the unfairness never happened. It’s as if we’re required to say it’s okay to be treated unfairly, or to be beaten.

For me, forgiveness means that I must stop fighting the reality of what happened.  Yes, my boss, my husband, my friend, took advantage of me. Forgiveness means shifting my focus from the people involved to how I can prevent that same situation happening again?

Demanding that others must see the error of their ways in order for me to feel good, can mean that I’ll have a life time of misery.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot force someone else to change. The only person I can control is me. Therefore, I must let go of the anger and pain because I need a clear mind to learn from what happened. I need to change myself so that I’m not in a position where someone can treat me unfairly again. For me, that’s what forgiveness is all about. That’s why, when Peter asked Jesus, “Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me”, Jesus could respond, “…not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22.



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