Why Should I Forgive?
In his groundbreaking book “No Future without Forgiveness,” Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa details the sorrow that South Africans suffered under decades of apartheid. Their journey had a global impact. However, after the abolishment of apartheid and the reconciliation trials, Bishop Tutu challenged the citizenry that without forgiveness, there would be no future healing and prosperity.
Wow! What a thought … no future without forgiveness.
Several months from now, my husband and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. I can truly say that we would not have a reason to celebrate such an occasion if we, too, had not learned that forgiveness is the path to a prosperous future.[pullquote]This is what the Bible says about forgiveness: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32[/pullquote]
Now, forgiveness isn’t easy, and it isn’t cheap; it costs something from each party. The offender must be willing to seek forgiveness. There were times when I hurt my husband, but saying, “I am sorry,” seemed to get stuck in my throat! It is courageous to say truthfully, “I am sorry.” It is soothing and begins the healing your hurt caused.
The offended must be willing to say, “Yes, I accept your apology,” and willing to work toward rebuilding the relationship which was marred by the offender. I have found that reconciliation is hard but necessary for a future. My husband is a generous man and lovingly accepts my apology when I have hurt him.
I know that forgiving someone and being reconciled can be difficult and painful. It may take days, months, or even years. However, to release forgiveness is the gift you give yourself. The work of reconciliation is the gift to one another.