Does Forgiveness Work?
Does forgiveness work? It’s a great question. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things in the world I find. It might come easier to you, but I struggle. And I suppose it depends on what you are trying to forgive. If it’s something you don’t care so much about, it pretty easy to forgive. But when you have been deeply hurt, horrendously wounded, monumentally betrayed, it can be incredibly difficult to forgive.
And the thing is, this isn’t theoretical. If you live long enough, you will be deeply hurt, horrendously wounded, and monumentally betrayed… and possibly many times.
So, as hard as forgiveness is sometimes, it raises one question in my practical mind. Does it work? Because if we can be convinced that it works, it will be easier to do that hard work to follow through.
Does forgiveness work? Yes, but it is critically important to keep one thing in mind. Forgiveness doesn’t change the past, it changes the future.
I’ll say it one more time, forgiveness doesn’t change the past, it changes the future. So, if you want your future to be better than your past, different to your past, more peaceful and less bitter and resentful, it might be time to think about who you need to forgive and what you need to forgive them for. Because the other thing I have learned about forgiveness over the years is that our need to forgive is usually greater than their need to be forgiven.
There is no future without forgiveness. That’s true in a relationship, in a family, in a community, on a team, it’s true for a nation, and it’s true for humanity. There is no future without forgiveness.
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