Forgiveness is the forgiver

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We all have heard it said, “I’ll forgive, but I’ll never forget.” When a person’s been offended, forgiving the guilty party has nothing to do with forgetting the incident. When we forgive, it’s to free us from resentments that will eventually turn to hatred.

Over my lifetime, I’ve offended many people and am grateful to report that when I’ve made amends, I was forgiven. I know that God forgives, and He doesn’t keep score of our behavior if we are sincere when we ask for forgiveness. The biggest problem is forgiving ourselves for the hurt we have caused others, especially our loved ones.

In a program that helped me with my alcohol abuse, one of the steps was to make amends to all people I had harmed. I quickly contacted most of the people I had hurt and asked to be forgiven. The person I hurt the most, my wife, was the last on my list, not intentionally, but just taking her for granted and expecting everything to be OK.

I was sober for 19 years before I was confronted by a friend in the program who asked if I had ever asked Jeanne to forgive me. I finally did and asked if she could find it in her heart to forgive me. She just cried uncontrollably and said, “I forgave you a long time ago, but I never thought I’d live long enough for you to ask.”

Mending relationships is so important to our spiritual walk. It’s only then that we can enjoy a peace that surpasses all understanding.


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