Such a powerful word. It means one thing but yet it means so many other things as well. We have all done things in our life that we need forgiven for. We have all had someone in our life we need to forgive at one point in time or another.
Forgiveness must begin by forgiving ourselves of whatever it is we are holding on to. And not only forgiving ourselves of our wrongdoings, but once you have forgiven yourself, you must let go of those mistakes of the past and move forward.
Once you are ready to move forward in your life, the next person to ask forgiveness from is God. He will grant you forgiveness in any situation, event, scenario or problem you have in life. All you have to do is ask Him and be sincere about it. You must truly in your heart want to be forgiven for your past mistakes so you can start with a clean slate and move forward as a better person in life. Many people do not know how to ask God for forgiveness. I have been there in the past. Just pray and ask the Lord to forgive you for your sins and mistakes you have made. That is it. Simple as that.
Then once the Lord has forgiven you, the next step is to forgive others.
We must forgive others in our life who have hurt us, brought pain or misery to our life, did terrible things, lie, or made fun of us about something. Most people in this world carry grudges in life and that itself is a sin. God wants us to forgive others who have hurt us no matter what the circumstances. Now obviously this is easier said than done. The majority of this world's population falls into the category of holding grudges and carries those grudges around with them each and every day of their lives. We have all been guilty of this whether we realize it or not. When someone hurts you, your feelings are hurt. And the normal reaction when your feelings are hurt is to want to get revenge or hurt the person back who hurt you. Not everyone in the world will feel that way, but that is the typical reaction when someone is hurt by another person. Even though this feeling if normal, I present this question to ponder, "What does it solve to strike back at the person who hurt you?" If you seek revenge on that person, it might feel as though you are superior for awhile, but ultimately in the end, you are no better than the person who originally hurt you. And revenge solves nothing. It only hurts the other person in return and the vicious cycle continues.
We can all think of an instance where we have wanted to seek revenge or get back at others who have harmed us. Believe me, I have been there. But God also wants us to be the bigger person in the matter and work towards forgiving others. Again, I repeat this is easier said than done. And it takes alot of courage and strength to be able to forgive others. But when we reach the point that we no longer want to seek revenge or pay back others for their actions, then I believe we are capable of forgiving others. Often times it takes time to get over whatever it is that happened to us. It could take days, weeks, months or even years to get to a point we can forgive others that have hurt us, leave the past in the past, and move forward with the lessons learned from it.
Now on the flip side of the coin, have you ever done something to someone, or hurt someone in some way, or did something you knew was wrong? The answer is yes you have, yes I have, we have all done something to hurt someone or something else at some point in time in our life. Now sometimes our actions that hurt others are not always intentional. And sometimes they are. Whatever the situation or scenario that took place, it doesn't really matter. The fact is at some point in our lives, we have all did something we knew was wrong, or something we aren't proud of, or hurt someone in a way that needs forgiveness granted. So I ask you this - if you know you have made a wrong decision or hurt someone else, have you asked that person for forgiveness? Maybe you have, and maybe you have not. So my challenge to you is this ~ if you are in this situation and need to be forgiven for something, simply ask the person. One must swallow their pride and admit their wrongdoing in order to ask another for forgiveness. We as the human race have a very hard time with the last statement. Read it again.
Now that you have read it again, take a moment to think about.
This means we have to apologize for our wrongdoing. Then once we apologize and sincerely mean it, then at that point we ask others for forgiveness. (And I'm not talking about when you were little and pulled your sister's hair because she took your toy away and your mother made you apologize to each other, then kiss and make up.) Never apologize to someone unless your heart is in it. Anyone can say the words "I'm sorry" but if they do not mean what they say, then the words mean nothing.
There are many different situations where we need forgiveness from others. Sometimes we can accomplish this just by asking. Other times we must show the person we are truly sorry by our actions. Actions speak louder than words. Whatever the situation, often times showing the person you are sorry is more effective than just saying the words. This can be done in many different ways depending on what the scenario is. You just have to figure out what is right for your situation and come up the best solution to show the person you are sincere and need forgiveness.
Depending on the situation in which you ask for forgiveness, it may or may not be granted by the person whom you ask. Forgiveness from someone who has been hurt sometimes takes a long time to give. I have seen many people in this world who are in this exact predicament. They have been hurt and forgiving others is not something that happens overnight. It takes time, patience and sometimes even courage to forgive that person. This brings me back to the point about holding a grudge. Carrying around grudges against someone or something brings a burden to your life. Yes it sometimes takes time to let go of that grudge or anger, but in time you have to let go and move on. Otherwise you will always be stuck in the same place and unable to move ahead in life.
In my personal life I have been on both sides of the fence on the subject of forgiveness. I have been hurt and had to learn to forgive others for their actions that brought pain to my life. It has taken time to work up the point of being able to forgive others, but it can be done. I have also been guilty of hurting others, unintentionally the majority of the time. I have had to ask for forgiveness a time or two. It takes a person back down to a level they have to swallow their pride and admit they were wrong. But often times when a person can do that, all the burdens of carrying grudges or hanging on to whatever it was they held on to for so long suddenly disappears. It's suddenly a refreshing and new positive feeling you can only experience once you let go of the past. And when you can forgive others for the mistakes, that's another refreshing wave of feelings as well.
I am at a point in my life where much forgiveness has been granted this year for different things that have happened in my life. It has taken me time to get past things but it's a nice and refreshing feeling to have been able to do that and let go of the past. I believe the past is the past and that is where it should stay. Do not carry the past forward to the future.
Do you need to ask for forgiveness or apologize to someone for something in the past? Don't wait until it's too late. We never know what this world holds from day to day. Don't put off something until tomorrow that you can do today. Nothing is guaranteed in this life on earth. That is why I live day to day and appreciate all the blessings I have been given. And why I can forgive others in order to move forward in to the future.