In my last post I shared my thoughts about what exactly forgiveness is and what it means. Today, I want to take a little bit of time to look at what forgiveness isn’t and what forgiveness doesn’t mean. There are a lot of common misconceptions when it comes to forgiveness and it’s important that we clear some of them up before moving on in this challenge.
If you’ve been a little reluctant about joining us, or aren’t quite ready to give it 100%, one or more of these misconceptions may be what’s holding you back. Let me quickly run you through them so you gain an even better understanding of what forgiveness is all about, and what it isn’t.
Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean You Excuse And Condone
When we forgive someone, we do it despite knowing that what they did was wrong and possibly hurtful. It does in no way mean that we excuse and condone their behavior or that we suddenly agree with them. Far from it. Instead we decide to forgive despite what they’ve done.
Forgiveness simply means that we choose to get past it and bring closure for our own sake. Forgiveness is much more about the person doing the forgiving than the one being forgiven. It helps us to not only move past what happened, but also stop feeling grief, anger, and pain about it. It’s a very freeing experience. Forgiveness is about acceptance of things we cannot change, or have no control over.
Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean Giving Up
To forgive someone doesn’t mean that we’re giving up. We can still work on finding justice or continuing to work towards improving things and forgive at the same time. It simply means that we choose to let go enough that the anger, pain, and fear no longer paralyzes us.
Forgiveness is a very freeing feeling. It helps us move on with our lives; including any plans we have to make sure what happened to us doesn’t happen to anyone else. It doesn’t mean that we’re giving in and suddenly going along with everything the other person does. In fact, we can forgive someone and continue to not spend time with them.
Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean You’re Weak
To be forgiving also isn’t a sign of weakness. Again, the opposite is true. It takes a lot of strength and character to be able to forgive and move on. It doesn’t turn you into a pushover. It shows your strength of character and faith.
Forgiveness Doesn’t Let Them Get Away With It Last but not least, don’t feel like you let someone get away with it when you forgive them. You can be forgiving and understanding and still expect them to make up for what they’ve done. I can’t stress enough how forgiveness really isn’t about the other person, it’s about you. It’s what’s going to help you move on, get back to your life, and find happiness while still doing what you have to do to set things right.