Why Should We Forgive?

We close out this month with another discussion on the topic of forgiveness, with today’s important topic being the reciprocal nature of forgiveness.   Call it Karma or what you will, but there’s been lots of evidence that what you sew you will reap. If you help others they’ll help you, if you hurt others they’ll hurt you, if you help others be successful you’ll be successful too and that sort of thing.

Today we’re basing our discussion on two beliefs.  One that we’re human and no one is perfect and two that forgiveness is important.  Now, before we get to the real point we do need to discuss what is usually the elephant in the room: deserving/undeserving forgiveness.  Are there unforgiveable acts?  Should everyone be forgiven?  These questions can be debated endlessly but I believe that in most cases forgiveness should be attempted.  If someone is a repeat offender your level of trust and interaction after repeated forgiveness conversations should be limited or the relationship should be terminated.  Some people just don’t get along well together but that doesn’t mean that you need to hold a grudge when you end the relationship.

So why is it important to forgive others?  The biggest reason is that you’ll need to be forgiven at some point in time (and usually more than once).  If I know that someone is really mad at me it hurts.  I don’t want to feel that pain for longer than I have to, and I know that if I feel that way others feel that way too.  It’s really hard to do good in the world when you’re all tied up in pain and anger, and we don’t need more pain and anger in the world, we need healing and working towards a better tomorrow for ourselves and future generations.

Forgiveness isn’t something you do because you want others to like you or the world needs to be all sunshine and roses.  Forgiveness is something we practice because we’ll need to be forgiven.

“He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.” Thomas Fuller

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