The word “forgive” appears more than 100 times in the Bible (the exact number varies depending on the version of the BIble). Many times, it’s used in reference to God’s forgiveness of humanity for our constant transgressions against Him. However, it’s also used many times to instruct us to forgive one another when we transgress against one another.
Forgiveness is hard. That’s why it’s mentioned so many times. It’s a lesson we’ve collectively had to learn over and over again. The easy thing to do is to hold a grudge or seek revenge, but taking the higher road of forgiveness helps everyone grow to become better people, which is ultimately better for the unfolding history of mankind, and it is more of a release than holding a grudge or getting revenge.
Four tips on how to forgive
- Move on — When we dwell in the anger or pain that someone has caused us, it’s hard to think of forgiving as well as to do much else that is constructive for ourselves. Find a way to let go of the anger, so you can move on to healing and the next part of life.
- Focus on understanding yourself — Reflect on yourself in the circumstances that you’re in. Take responsibility for your part of the conflict and avoid blaming and finger-pointing, even if you have good cause to do so.
- Communicate clearly — When you are ready to communicate forgiveness to someone, it’s important to do it clearly. Do not go to them pointing fingers or blaming only to slap on “but I forgive you” at the end like a small Band-Aid over a large wound. Instead, practice communicating your thoughts clearly and calmly. Express how you feel because of the person’s actions, and make sure you acknowledge your own faults in the circumstances as well.
- Connect with God — Forgiveness through our own strength can be very challenging, no matter how much we prepare. We can always turn our hearts over to God and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us and help us to do as Jesus taught us to do.
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