A couple of years ago I came across quotes on forgiveness while preparing for a talk. They speak well about the journey of forgiveness.
- “Forgiveness is a willingness to abandon’s one’s right to resentment, negative judgment, and indifferent behavior toward one who unjustly hurt us, while fostering the undeserved qualities of compassion, generosity, and even love toward him or her.” (Forgiveness and Reconciliation—“Promoting Forgiveness Through Restorative Conferencing”) Augustine Nwoye
- “Forgiveness is a peaceful inner state, irrespective of one’s experienced individual or mass trauma, which best follows the catharsis, expression, and processing of negative feelings.” (Forgiveness and Reconciliation: “Forgiveness in Spite of Denial, Revisionism, and Injustice” Ani Kalayjian
- “Forgiveness is the process of letting go of our attachment to the negative thoughts in your mind. It is the process of healing your own mind and your own soul.” Forgiveness, Gerald Jampolsky)
- “Forgiveness, whether forgiving a close friend or whole society, does not take away the responsibility of the persons who have done things that inflicted hardship, death or emotional pain. Forgiving does not mean condoning such behavior.” Forgiveness Gerald Jampolsky
- “Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.” (Mayo Clinic Staff)
Embracing the path to forgiveness takes time, patience and a spirit of letting go to be free of the load that weighs us down. The Gospel of John (8:1-11) from the Christian scriptures tells the story of condemnation and forgiveness. A couple committed adultery yet only the woman was held accountable for her actions. The crowd readied themselves to thrown stones and kill her. They said they were within the law to stone her. Jesus paused, stood straight up and said, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to condemn.” They went away one by one. What could they do? They knew that in some way they too had separated themselves from God and others. Jesus told the woman they he did not condemn her and invited her to go forth and to be in right relationship with God and others.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are two different processes. We may forgive someone yet never be in relationship with them. There are often situations where this has to be for the safety of an individual.
Embracing the path to forgiveness can take away the load that weighs us down.
Our invitation is to embrace the path to forgiveness.
Blessings and peace,