Discover the Power of Forgiveness
by Leonard J. Roos
What do you do when somebody hurts you? Do you want to hurt him
back or do you hold it against that person for the rest of your
life? If you answer yes to these questions, know that you are
like most people. To forgive is something that people generally
have difficulty with.
Why don't people forgive readily? Here's why, because it is
easier to hate than to forgive. Some people think to forgive is a
sign of weakness, but let me tell you, it is not. To forgive
takes courage and extra effort.
What is forgiveness? It is a gift from a generous heart.
Forgiveness is not a reward. It is not something that you give to
someone based on his good behavior. It is something that you give
to a person irrespective of whether he has deserved it or not.
Forgiveness is also not based on whether the person has asked for
Also know this. Forgiveness is not an event, which starts and
concludes when you say the words, "I forgive you". Forgiveness is
an act and a process, which often takes time. The deeper your
hurt the longer it usually takes to completely forgive. It is an
act because it is not just the words you say but it is your
actions which will show if you've really forgiven.
A fine example of someone who embodies true forgiveness is former
South African president Nelson Mandela. Mandela was imprisoned by
the former all-white South African government for 27 years. Upon
his release Mandela surprised the whole world when he showed no
bitterness towards his jailers. That is truly remarkable.
Why is it necessary to forgive? Forgiveness releases you from the
burden of bitterness and hate. It takes enormous energy to hate
and to keep that hate in place. Forgiveness brings freedom
whereas revenge is neither sweet nor gratifying, its just a
Hate puts unnecessary stress on your body. It is a well-known
fact, proven by numerous studies, that bitterness and hate can
actually make you sick. A great number of people in the world
don't really belong in a hospital, because the root of their
problem is not physical but is mental. The moment they forgive
and let go of their hate they will start to get well.
There is another reason why you need to forgive. If you don't
forgive you actually prevent blessings from flowing to you. The
Bible says that before you pray for anything first forgive those
who wronged you, and then your Father in heaven will forgive you
your wrongs. So there you can see that blessings are closely
connected to your forgiving others.
I have personal experience of this. I used to be very cynical
about life and didn't forgive easily. At the time I also
struggled in every area of my life. Things just didn't seem to
work out for me. It is as if everything that could go wrong,
always went wrong. That was until somebody told me to take a look
at my attitude. And when I forgave those who wronged me and
changed my attitude, everything else changed. It didn't happen
overnight. It took a while, but I could see and feel the
Now you may ask how do you know when you've really forgiven
someone? Here's the key. If after you've "forgiven" that person
you still experience a negative sting whenever you think of him
or her, it means you still have work to do. If however you don't
have negative feelings towards that person it means you are free.
Are things not working out in your life, despite you doing all
the "right" things? Is it possible that you have unforgiveness in
your heart? It is certainly something to think about!
Leonard J. Roos is the author of How to unlock the Awesome Power
of the Universe! All of Leonard's writings are based upon his own
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