How Do We Forgive?
We make up our minds and our hearts to let go, knowing that carrying around anger and judgment toward others or ourselves is a burden we no longer wish to bear.
Beginning to Learn to Forgive
By Rev. Bill Englehart
Jesus was once asked how often one should forgive. Seven times? His response was, “Not seven times, but, I tell you seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:21-22).
Seventy-seven is not a magic number. Earlier translations say seventy times seven, or 490. It was simply Jesus’ way of saying forgiveness can be infinite.
To understand forgiveness, we need to understand what it is not. It is not about condoning bad behavior or saying we must trust those who have mistreated us. It does not mean that there will be no justice for bad acts.
Consider this from H. Emilie Cady’s Lessons in Truth, written more than 100 years ago:
“To forgive does not simply mean to arrive at a place of indifference to those who do personal injury to us; it means far more than this. To forgive is to give for—to give some kind of actual definite good in return for evil given.”
This may seem like a tall order but when done, we can see the results straightaway. I have known parents who forgave the person who killed their child. When I asked why, they said that if they had not, they would be consumed with anger and bitterness. Forgiveness was the answer.