I did another poll on my facebook profile, asking people what forgiveness means to them. Here are their responses:
"Forgiveness means to forgive and accept what has hurt you and not to hold a grudge against that person about what happened...you may not forget, but you won't bring it up again in order to hurt the other person back...because it has been forgiven! :) " - Lena
"Forgiveness is a process. It involved *choosing* to let the matter go. It does not mean that what happened is "OK", because often the hurt that has been done may be grevious. Forgiveness is choosing not to hate the offender, (steps may be required to protect oneself from the person that caused the hurt). Because we are not wired to forget past offenses, sometimes we may need to forgive someone in our heart over and over again. Each time Satan starts to work at the wound, we need to take the hurt before God and allow God to help us to forgive. True forgiveness can only come from God." - Bryan
"Forgiveness I agree is a process and at times you may need to do it daily. It is good to do so that the anger and resentment don't build in yourself and hurt yourself and others by holding onto the hurt. There is a Bible verse that says to love your enemies I think this can only be done with Gods help or power in your life. Not on your own strength. It also does not mean to be a doormat and keep letting people hurt you. We live in a fallen and broken world. Forgiveness is a must in life." - Lena
"Forgiveness is the scent a flower sheds upon the heel that crushed it." - J.R.
"To me, Forgiveness is best described in 1Cor. 13...the verse that say's Love keeps no records of wrong's." - Joyce
"Forgiveness is an aspect of love that challenges us to walk out that love. Forgiveness allows us to express our love. The foundation of love is forgiveness. If we can't forgive ourselves we cannot accept God's love or understand God's acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice. The Cross can be understood thru seeing God's forgiveness of us who don't deserve it." - George
I like all your thoughts...and I agree. Forgiveness is a process - it doesn't happen overnight and at times it feels like you're doing it again and again...daily at times. Some hurts go down deep but as Christians we are called to forgive..it's not an option, it's expected..it's a way of life...we'll hurt others and others will hurt us. The challenge is not to deny but to forgive, to overcome the feelings and to forgive. We can choose to forgive or we can become unhealthy physically and mentally and live in bitterness and regret. "Forgiveness is a way of traveling" the road continues, things go by and we gotta let them go. "Let go and let God!"
When I was putting this statement on my profile on facebook, I was prompted to ask a certain individual who I don't really know, what they thought about forgiveness. They were uneasy at first but responded. Later I received a message from them, and they shared a very difficult circumstance in their life that they are still working on to forgive.....to forgive those in the church, people/leaders/ministers of God who hurt them deeply, when they felt they were doing something that God had led them to do. Their mission was not received well by the Church. But God is still working on them to forgive the Church years later after this incident happened. God is so amazing! I don't even know this person very well - just a wee bit through a friend. God is so good and uses all kinds of different circumstances and people in our lives to bring us closer to Him and into a deeper relationship with Him. "He calls the stars in the skies and He knows them by name...You are amazing God!" This song has been in my heart this morning and it amazes me how God knows the stars by name...and also us...even the number of hairs on our head. He knows each day what happens and what we will go through on this journey in life....and He knew this even before we were born!! He is amazing!!