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Forgiveness Takes Time, Sometimes A Long Time

Updated on November 3, 2012

Forgiviing is truly a key for living!

Forgiveness is a mountain for some people.
Forgiveness is a mountain for some people. | Source

Who, or what, might you be better off forgiving today?

The offense:

How many different ways can we offend someone? Obviously by something we do or say, and often by simply being misunderstood.

Bad behaviors are something we are supposed to outgrow in childhood, but some folks seem to have a knack for childishness, childishness that persists into a young "old age." That is a purposefully chosen phrase, because most folks who are like that seem to live shorter lives.

Sometimes the thing which is hardest to forgive is failing to meet someone else's expectations.

There are social mores to run afoul of, sinful acts just waiting to be committed, and a whole variety of stumbles and insults mortal man and woman are capable of. Some seem "unforgivable" no matter what urgings we have all been given to "learn to forgive and forget."

The repentance and change:

No matter how much we may desire someone's forgiveness, we have limited control over the process.

Certainly we should repent, make restitution where appropriate, and do everything we can to earn their forgiveness. But, having done all that we can, the rest is up to the forgiver.

In all likelihood they have been taught to not judge, and to be quick to forgive. Some people have succeeded in mastering those personal qualities; others have not, and they will forgive more slowly, even obstinately hanging onto a perceived insult, or other offense until it becomes an albatross around their own necks.*

Doing what one can to make amends and make things right, is all the perceived offender can do, and then it is time to move on with life and know that a higher judge knows what we have done in attempting to make things right.

As the saying goes, "We have all fallen short of the glory of God." Being mortal, we make mistakes. Some people are more easily offended than others with thicker skins.

On the other hand, if we find ourselves continuing to offend others by our words and/or our actions, those problems are ours to work on and overcome. The very best friendship is one in which we can receive and accept criticism, and offer it when it is appropriate.

The outcome:

Being content in our own skin is the goal of any serious, sensitive individual.

Mastering our own faults may well be the most worthwhile goal to achieve in mortality. They are the only faults we have any control over, and gaining control over them can typically be a lifelong process.

The first key is to want to gain control over our faults and weaknesses. The second key is to apply ourselves in a conscious effort to achieve that control while learning to apologize and make restitution when it is appropriate.

Some things cannot be totally undone, a valid reason for the saying that "we should turn our tongue ten times before we speak." Sometimes remaining silent is the better course. Gossip and back-biting are not the hallmarks of a mature individual. The ability to quickly apologize sincerely and attempt to "make things right" is a good sign that we are making progress in the right direction.

The flip side? Don't carry around the burdens of failing to forgive others. That dead albatross is a burden we need to be rid of as soon as possible. If we expect to be forgiven of our own faults and blunders, others have the same right and expectation, and it isn't up to us to judge who is worthy of our forgiveness. We need to be mature enough to know that forgiving others is our own responsibility.



Copyright 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      ImKarn23 and rfmoran: As a Christian I believe that God taught His son to teach us to forgive, with the admonition that, if we will not forgive others of His children, we ourselves will not be forgiven. When forgiveness seems too difficult, we must ask for God's help, for with Him nothing is impossible. Much of forgiving involves our judging the other person or persons, and Christians are also taught not to judge, or we ourselves will be judged. Did it ever seem unreasonable that someone else couldn't bring themselves to forgive us? If so, we know why we need to "let bygones be bygones."

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Tough topic P. and you address it very well. It' one of life's more difficult decisions. We all know we should forgive, but working up the Mojo to do it is the tough part.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      Really enjoyed this P..

      Forgiving is sooo difficult, and quite frankly - i believe some things are simply unforgivable..

      Other than those things - i believe that forgiveness is necessary for a happy, productive life - as hatred usually hurts the one who's hating a lot more than the one who's hated!

      Sadly, it's easier said than done...

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very well done, Demas. An honest mistake is just that, but repeated offenses are something else entirely.

    • profile image

      mours sshields 5 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      Good hub about forgiveness. Some people hold on to resentment and unforgiveness for years, which I think is silly.....and wrong. Life is too short. Unforgiveness can have a negative effect on people's health.

      Marcia Ours

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      You are very correct. Forgiveness does take some some time, but it does help us to heal, from the damage that has hurt us in the past.

      This is a wonderful hub, but you do write wonderful hubs anyway.

      Voted up.

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hi Pespycacious, I love the perspective you give to "bad manners." As the world view grows wider and splits into the "us" and the "thems," it seems our views conflict, enmeshed in misunderstanding. Great hub and very well written! Voted up and shared!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      I agree with peachpurple. It also depends on the offense. Sometimes people argue or get upset for stupid little things. Communication is the key and the only way to resolve a problem.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      To forgive is divine. This was a well written reason why it is important. Good job!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      to forgive someone who had hurt you is easier said than done. Takes a lot of courage to face it, put down the hatred and bury the hatchet. As you have said, takes a long, long, long..........................................................time.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      people correction

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      that is correct. there is no need to bring something up that happened years ago. peopkw who forgive but tell you they don't forget are still holding grudges

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      lovedoctor926: Hopefully you accepted the apology and didn't ask to be reminded of what it was all about. "Love is forgiveness without a further thought of the thing forgiven."

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      you made very good points. recently a friend sent me an email apologizing for the way he had treated me several years ago. it was a sincere letter. I had forgotten what it was we had argued about