So Monday we talked about forgiveness. Really, we can't stress it too much. It can be a difficult part of life for most of us, depending on the circumstances. But it's such an important part of life—and of relationship.
Interestingly, I had written Monday's blog last week. Then on Sunday, our pastor preached about forgiveness too. He talked about how we imprison ourselves when we refuse forgiveness to others. That is so true. When I was young, I'm not sure that I heard about that human element of forgiveness. I learned that we forgive because God forgives us. If that's your belief, and it's still mine, that is true. But there's so much more to it—and that is the freedom and release it brings us when we do forgive others. It frees us from a prison and it leads to greater emotional health, peace and joy. I didn't hear about such benefits either at church or at home when I was young, but they are a real and important part of forgiveness. Forgiving also improves our relationships, not only the one(s) directly involved.
Even if, when we forgive a person for some hurt or harm, we can no longer stay in relationship with that particular person, we are emotionally clear and healthier in the rest of our relationships because of that forgiveness. When we carry around anger and withhold forgiveness from one person, it can affect all our other relationships as well.
The benefits of forgiving are immense. Who doesn't want to be freed from the prison of anger and the loss of energy that entails? Carrying around the hurt and anger take more energy from us than we can imagine. It feels so good to let it all go.