The tool I am going to share about this week is forgiveness. This is a difficult tool for many to use, recognizing that on the front end of what I share will help you know that if this is a difficult topic for you, you are not alone.
I am going to lay the groundwork for what forgiveness is and what it is not. The definition of forgiveness looks simple, but in reality it is a very complex and layered process.
Definition of forgiveness
: the act of forgiving
The “act” of forgiving. Forgiving someone is not about an emotion or feeling. It is an act. A choice. A decision.
Forgiveness has been an important part of my life, the giving and the receiving.
Ways I have learned about forgiveness:
- Personal first hand experience
- Experiential trainings (The Road Adventure, Pathways Core Training)
- Research through blogs/articles/books
The Road Adventure taught me:
Forgiveness is breaking the emotional bond between you and the event. Because when you can recognize that it's an event and it really doesn't say anything about your own self-worth or your own value it lets you detach yourself from the shame.
Forgiving detaches you from the original negative emotion. In its place here are some of the benefits you can receive:
- Negative emotions can be replaced with positive emotions
- Recognize your role in the event and make amends if needed
- Accept that their action was not your fault
- Release you from them having power/control over you
- Allow you to be more willing to accept forgiveness when given to you
When you forgive someone it can help you in all these ways, and more to allow you to live out of who God created you to be.
As I mentioned earlier, forgiveness is an act, not a feeling. This is a great quote explaining that a little bit more:
Forgiveness begins as a moral choice, a conscientious and willing choice (and process) in which the injured person is able to recognize an injustice and has chosen willingly and without coercion to respond with mercy rather than what could be justifiable retribution. In the end, forgiveness is concerned with the overall good of human relationships and interaction.
You can read the full article here.
Forgiveness is NOT saying that what the person did is okay. Period.
Here is a list of 7 things that forgiveness is NOT. You can read the full article here:
- Forgiveness is not tolerating.
- Forgiveness is not the absence of anger.
- Forgiveness does not mean there will be no consequences.
- Forgiveness does not mean complete trust is restored.
- Forgiveness does not mean giving up.
- Forgiveness does not mean you will forget.
- Forgiveness is not a one time event – its a lifestyle.
Your homework for this week is to take some time in prayer and ask God if there is anyone that you need to forgive.
Next week I will share some practical applications of forgiveness, which will include a 7 step forgiveness process that will help you know how to forgive the person that God brings to your mind this week.
Schedule a “get to know each other” Zoom meeting!
Playlists — music can change your mood, enjoy some of the songs that encourage me.
The Identity Key — you can purchase my book on Amazon.