Forgive As You Wish to Be Forgiven
Forgiveness tears down walls and opens the way for a fully restored relationship. When we forgive, we release the person who has wronged us from the penalty of being separated from us. We do not hold wrongs against others, do not think about the wrongs and do not punish others for them. Therefore, forgiveness may be described as a decision to make four promises:
- “I will not dwell on this incident.”
- “I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.”
- “I will not talk to others about this incident.”
- “I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.” **
By making and keeping these promises, you can tear down the walls that stand between you and your offender. You promise not to dwell on or brood over the problem or to punish by holding the person at a distance. You clear the way for your relationship to develop unhindered by memories of past wrongs. This is exactly how most of us want to be forgiven, so it is exactly how we should forgive others.
** In cases of abuse, forgiveness can and should include the establishment of safe boundaries for emotional and physical safety. See The Peacemaker, pp. 156-7, 284.
Adapted from The Peacemaker, © 2004 by Ken Sande. All Rights Reserved.