When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiving can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, more positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

It for sure doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. It brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

Forgiving is necessary. Why?

Because we need to forgive just as much as we need forgiveness. If we don’t forgive, our rage and anger will be like poison to us and it will eat us up. God does not want that to happen, so we are commanded to forgive and we must forgive!

It frees us from guilt and shame. We no longer need to feel anxious, worry about the situation or feel as though the whole world blames us for what happened. Though we want to take precautions never to do it again, we are free to leave the past behind us and start new again.

Certainly the wounds of forgiveness are not healed by time. Sins do not appear by magic, nor will they disappear by magic. Even God had to “do” something about the sin of the world. Forgiveness requires the action of the forgiver.

Furthermore, it is not acceptable to only forgive others, we must forgive ourselves. This is indeed very difficult. I admit, I struggle with forgiving myself. Forgiving ourselves is a way of showing love to ourselves. It is an act of worship. We must forgive ourselves. We must free ourselves!

Forgiveness is indeed a powerful weapon. Arm yourself and forgive!