Forgiveness, By Definition

Forgiver, forgiving, forgiveness. All of them come from the root word forgive. All of them boil down to the following:

  • the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven
  • to give up resentment against or stop wanting to punish (someone) for an offense or fault; pardon
  • to relent in being angry or in wishing to exact punishment for (an offense or fault)
  • to absolve from payment of (a debt, for example)

In my own words, forgiving a person means you no longer allow him or her to occupy your mind, thoughts, or psyche because you’re obsessed with the wrong they’ve done. When you harbor unforgiveness, you are plagued by an ever-present cloud of anger. I lived in that state for many, many years of the years I was married. Please understand that it wasn’t always like that.

The short definition of forgiveness_ your freedom.jpg

In the beginning, it didn’t matter what that man did, I forgave him. It was what I had been taught to do. It was the biblical thing to do. Time after time, though, he took my forgiveness for granted and either repeated the same act or one more dastardly than the previous one. When he was here for my mother’s funeral, he acknowledged once again, that he know how hard I had tried to make the marriage work and that he knew how often I had forgiven him.

I’ve shown you some of the various definitions of forgiveness, but if I had to sum it up in three words, it would be: release of self. When you forgive, you are not relieving the offender of the action, you are releasing yourself from the snare of anger and pain that that person’s action caused you.

Forgiveness can not define you. You must define your own life. That life should revolve around those you love, those who love you, enjoying the daily ins and outs of life, and basking in the joy of being alive. Don’t be the human definition of unforgiveness.

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6 thoughts on “Forgiveness, By Definition

  1. I am not sure why but today, tonight I don’t think about forgiveness as related to my husband. Even though he nearly destroyed me, he didn’t. I thank God for that. I have no contact with him right now because I feel it’s best for me. All contact I was having was fueled with verbally and emotional abuse. I’m not mad or angry, I am heartbroken but I must keep moving forward for my sake. I don’t know; if I start to feel differently and it seems to hinder my healing I may find that I do need to explore forgiveness. I am just at such peace right now I don’t want anything, anyone, or any negativity to interfere with what believing in God and His words tell me and provides for me such beautiful peace. I lived in so much fear and terror for years. Okay, well now that I have said all of that maybe I have forgiven him, could that be why I am experiencing peace. Could it be I’ve forgiven him so I can keep moving forward? I am not really mad either or wish him any harm. I’m just glad he is gone.

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    1. Please accept my deepest apology for taking so long to respond. I had some kind of bug yesterday and after finishing up a few things for my son, I took flu meds and was out like a light.

      I fully believe you’ve forgiven him. The peace that you’re describing doesn’t come with any level of unforgiveness. For some people, forgiveness comes very easily because they know in their hearts that that is what they have to do in order to move forward. It sounds like you are that kind of person. PLEASE continue to move forward in your journey. I applaud you because even though I forgave my ex constantly in the beginning, after a while, I wasn’t able to because he repeated the same acts over and over again. It took me a long time to understand that I contributed to his behavior by allowing myself to stay in his presence.

      I pray that you’ll continue on your way to total newness. I pray that every single dream you have will be realized. Be blessed!

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      1. Thank you Trease, for not only the post but for your response to my comment. It really is very helpful to me to have someone to share my thoughts and my feelings with that has experienced some of what I’m going through. and can hear their insight. Because of the isolation during my marriage I have no close friends at all but I’m OK; so it’s nice to have someone to share with in the struggle I appreciate you have a blessed day

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