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Article: FORGIVENESS - The Raw Truth About Forgiveness

''One easy way to handle forgiveness 
is to operate on the principle of advance forgiveness, 
where you choose to forgive people in advance 
for future wrongs that they commit''.

In this article, we shall be looking at forgiveness, meaning, parties involved in forgiveness, the purpose and process of forgiveness.

Definition: According to Cambridge Dictionary, forgiveness is to stop blaming or being angry with someone for something that person has done, or not punish them for something or to allow someone to not have to pay a debt. in this definition, we see three things involved in forgiveness;
  1. To stop blaming or being angry with someone for something that person has done;- 
a. To stop blaming- This means you should let go of the effect of their actions or the constant recollection of how they did wrong, but instead, look for a solution or a way to forge ahead.
b. To stop being angry- This means letting go of the anger and resentment that a persons actions may cause so that we do not sin or be wrong in the process.
     2. To not punish for an offence- This means withholding the deserved punishment for a wrong done, even when you have the right and the power to mete out the punishment to the offender. This includes refraining from relating with the offender in anger which can lead you to punish the offender with a punishment greater than the offence committed.
    3.  To allow someone not to have to pay a debt- This is seen in cases where a person is unable to pay a debt owed even in the nearest future and the creditor decides to overlook the debt owed.

The root of the word ''forgive'' is the latin word ''perdonare'', meaning ''to give completely, withouth reservation''. Forgiveness is an intentional and voluntary action. It is not something that happens to you , but rather something you make happen for yourself and for others. Forgiveness is not given by merely saying the words 'i forgive you', but taking up the responsibilty of letting go completely. You have to make up your mind to forgive and ask God for the Grace to forgive.

      FORGIVENESS is also a process by which you let go of hurts, losses and pains of the past (usually caused by loved ones) and look unto a brighter future. it is not always easy but with the help of God and with an understanding of forgiveness, we shall be able to forgive all those who have offended us in the past or may offend us in the future.

Understanding is key and very important as a guide to whatever actions we take in life. Understanding also helps us do things the right way and with the right mindset. Understanding goes beyond mere knowledge and involves getting the idea behind a concept, the purpose for it and clearing misconceptions one may have. 

It is important to know that forgiveness is NOT;
  1. RECONCILIATION AND RESTORATION - Wherever there is reconciliation, there is forgiveness, but that does not work vice versa. The fact that there is forgiveness does not mean there must always be reconciliation, especially when the other party is unrepentant or uninterested in reconciliation. Reconciliation and restoration may even be risky if the other party is a dangerous person. For example, you can forgive a rapist, but you should not restore him to an intimate relationship with the raped. Remember that naturally, we have been given a sound mind, so, it should reflect in our actions. 
  2. CONDONING OR TOLERATING EVIL - Forgiveness does not mean you should accept what is morally wrong as right. We are warned against calling evil good, therefore, in forgiveness, you acknowledge that a wrong was done, but you decide to let go without compromising. Where applicable, there will still be punishment for there wrong doings.
  3. IGNORING THE OFFENCE OR PRETENDING IT NEVER OCCURRED - Forgiveness does not mean that one should ignore an offence or pretend that it never occurred or that we were never offended in the first place. We should admit that it occurred, but we are ready and willing to let go of the offence and leave it in the past where it belongs.
  4. FORGETTING THE OFFENCE - Forgiveness does not erase our memory. It is simply a choice to keep no record of the wrong done to you. Though you may remember such an offence, it will be an ineffective remembrance that does not seek vegeance. You are not provoked to anger by it or to keep malice because of it.
  5. FOOLISHNESS - Once again, forgiveness does not mean foolishly putting yourself in harm's way. Sometimes, we put ourselves in a situation where harm can be done to us repeatedly and we label it forgiveness. We should also limit a person's ability to harm us. You may need to take legal or some other kind of action to protect yourself from harm. Don't be so simple minded that you do not see harm coming your way from a particular friend or relation. Neither should you contine to give some people the opportunity to always hurt you.
Note - Do not over trust a sinning soul.

''Love will make forgiveness easy, while wisdom will limit occasions of such offences.
With all these in mind, we should be careful to ensure that
 what we are practicing is truly forgiveness and not codoning evil or covering up''.

Furthermore, forgiveness is not easy especially in cases of deep hurt, often caused by people dear to you or someone who repeatedly hurts you. Ensure that you do not make the mistake of downplaying forgiveness because it uaually involves a great deal of sacrifice. This does not change the fact that forgiveness is very possible. However, you must take note of the fact that the moment you decide to live a forgiving lifestyle, temptation will come in full force. Suddenly it will seem like everything and everyone is out to offend you. If you can overcome this phase, you will truly be victorious over unforgiveness till you get to a point when you are almost unoffendable.


''We all need forgiveness, but not everyone will get forgiveness. 
This may seem confusing and harsh, but it is the simple truth''.

Let us look at those who need to give forgiveness and those who need to receive this forgiveness.
1. MAN - Man is expected to forgive;
a. Himsef: Sometimes, we constantly blame ourselves for our past mistakes and refuse to let go. We need to get to a point where we can let go of our past failures and stop connecting everything that goes wrong in our lives to our past mistakes.
b. Others: We need to give forgiveness to those who have offended us. This we must do with our hearts and in true sincerity.
In the Christian faith, there are those who will not get forgiveness from God, they include;
1. The unrepentant sinner and those who neglected God's salvation.
2. The one who refuses to forgive others.
3. The one who deliberately disregards the finished work of Christ at calvary or blasphemes against the Holy spirit.
4. The dead - After death, there is no chance of forgiveness, even if it is sought with tears. So make good use of your time on earth.
      We all need to receive forgiveness and we also need to give forgiveness to others. Whether it's a friend, parent, spouse or close relative, they need our forgiveness and we also need to be free from the burden of unforgiveness.
Therefore, ensure that you do not withhold forgiveness from anyone including yourself.


''Forgiveness is the right thing to do when you are offended, 
no matter how deep the hurt is. In so doing, 
you enjoy all the benefits of forgiveness and live a fulfilled life''.

The following constitue some of the whys of forgiveness, the reasons we should forgive or be forgiven and the benefits of forgiving or being forgiven;
1. It brings healing - Forgiveness results in the healing of our spirit, soul and body. It also helps us heal from the hurt we feel and purifies us.
2. It reults in our forgiveness.
3. It brings judgement on our offenders.
This is not an all-encompassing list as there are still several other benefits of forgiveness both to the forgiver and the forgiven.


1. ASK THE OFFENDED PARTY FOR FORGIVENESS - You need to ask those whom you have offended for forgiveness. To get forgiveness, you should repent of your sins and ask the people you have offended in the past for their forgiveness.

2. MAKE RESTITUTION WHERE POSSIBLE - To receive forgiveness, one should also make restitution where possible. If you have taken anything or person that does not belong to you, then you need to return it if it's still in your possession.

3. IDENTIFY YOUR WEAKNESS - Conduct a self-examination to find ways in which you offend people often.

4.ASK FOR IT QUICKLY - Delay or denial is very dangerous and can even prove to be fatal. Instead of trying to defend yourself, simply apologize instead of denying or defending your sins. Apologize as soon as possible, even before the offended party gets the chance to voice out their anger. If the offended party responds in anger, still apologize rather than arguing your points or giving excuses for your wrong actions.

5. CHANGE YOUR WAYS - You need to realize that asking for forgiveness is not enough. You need to make effort to deviate from the wrong you have done and to mend your ways. There should be an undeniable evidence of soberness and a change of heart in you.

6. FORGIVE OTHERS - Remember that what you sow is what you reap. Ensure that you also forgive others in order to get forgiveness.

SUMMARY: Some people have been forgiven, but yet they keep feeling guilty over the past. You need to learn to ask for forgiveness and to leave your past behind and make the best of your today and tomorrow. If you can follow these steps, you will be able to receive forgiveness. 
However, in a situation where you have done all you can and man reuses to forgive you, simply move on with your life.


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