Forgiveness:  This seems to be a term most people struggle with, especially when someone has intentionally wronged them, yet, it’s something we all must do.   I know I have no idea what he/she did to you – lied, mistreated, cheated, abused, disrespected you and the list could go on and on.   However, we still must forgive.

Let me share with you what forgiveness is:  It’s actually a legal term.  To forgive someone means to  ‘absolve, acquit, bear no malice, cancel, clear, to exonerate.’

It means they were wrong … really wrong … but you make a decision to cancel the debt they owe for the price they deserve to pay.  You’re going to act like what happened never occurred.  This means that regardless of if they were wrong or not, you make a decision not hold any grudges or bring it up again.

In forgiving, that should mean that you’re going to use wisdom moving forward.  Forgiving does not mean placing yourself back in the same situation.  For instance, if someone abuses you, you don’t have to remain or continuously put yourself in that  abusive situation.  If you decide to give this person another chance, some clear steps need to be in place for reconciliation.  Step one would be counseling, and at the top of the agenda – Anger Management.

Or, it may be a certain amount of money a person owes you.   Years ago, a very wise person told me to never lend a person what you cannot afford to live without.   If they have not given it back and they are six months past the date they said they would, please let it go.   Clearly, God has enabled  you to live without it.  Cancel the debt and chalk it up as a lesson learned.  Forgive them, love them, but learn the lesson in this.

Here are three reasons why I believe forgiveness is a must.

1 –  God commands us to forgive.  If we don’t forgive, neither will our heavenly Father  forgive us of our wrong doings.  I don’t know about you, but that alone is a good enough reason for me.

2 –  It reduces stress.   Like a panoramic movie on instant replay, we see all their wrongs from every possible angle.  Strangely, it appears the person(s) who has wronged us is able to move on with his or her life, while we’re stressing out every time we think about them.  I’m not a doctor, but it’s clear to me the effects this can have on our health.

3 –  It frees us up and enables us to truly move on with our lives.  It’s hard to move forward when you’re constantly looking out your rear-view mirror.  If you want to be free to love and free to move on, you’re going to have to let go of your past.  It’s time for you to experience freedom.

Let it go and release it.  I know it might be hard for some of you, but let it go anyway.  And while I haven’t mentioned it in this blog, for some of you, forgiveness will start with you first forgiving yourself.   Don’t allow anything to keep you in bondage, including yourself.  This is for your good.  It’s time for you to be free again.

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Rickey E. Macklin
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