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What it really means to forgive. More to it than you may think.

Updated on May 15, 2012

Have You Ever Wondered

What is it to forgive?

Most of the worlds religions teach forgiveness. But what do they say?

To forgive is divine. Most of us have heard that.

Judaism : If someone causes harm,then sincerely apologizes,and tries to fix the wrong, the wronged Person is obligated to grant forgiveness:

Islam: Forgiveness requires repentance from the wrong-doer, And can be granted by Allah or the man who was wronged.

Buddhism: forgiveness is very important to protect your mental state from harm.

Hinduism: Asking forgiveness is a very important part of the religion. It affects your karma.

Christianity: This passage says it all, "Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV) “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins"

There Is Much More

I know There are many who know much more about these religions. I just scratched the surface.

Feel free to add more in the comments.

So What Do They Really Mean By Forgive?

Well first of all I keep leaving out the second part. Most people say "Forgive and Forget."

Where did the forget part come from? Can you just forget at will. Let me qualify that a little. I can forget to take out the trash, or that we are having dinner Tuesday with my in-laws.

Can you honestly say you can forget at will, when someone hurts you in some way? I can not.

In my research for this hub I read things from the major religions listed above. I learned stuff I did not know, But nowhere did I see forget. Only forgive.

I Have Said This Before.

To be selfish is not always bad. That's right I said it.

Lots of very good people ,will do great things to help others. When you help others , it can make you feel great. We like to help others because we like to see the happiness it brings them. That in turn makes us happy. That is why being selfish is not always bad. If you make your self happy,by helping others. It may be selfish but others benefit from it. A paradox I know but it is true.

To Connect It

To forgive can be better for you than the one you forgive.

Anger is hard to sustain. It will drain your energy level. It will also make it harder to enjoy positive feelings. Negative feelings hurt you more that the other person in most cases.

The health negatives of harboring bad feelings is well documented . Higher blood pressure, Weaker immune system. Higher stress levels , and much more the list is long.

Lets say my friend steals money from me. Religion says to forgive and let God judge. No where in my research did I see forget.

To forgive my friend , does not mean I just say all is forgotten ,now lets go have a beer.

How crazy would it that be? If a robber breaks into my house I sure as heck will not say "oh forget it come back and do it again any time".

To do that is hurting your self ,and my limited understanding of religion says God does not want me to do that either.

So what it means to forgive my friend is. I let go of the anger and bad emotions. I will end my friendship with the person. I will seek legal retribution. And I will no longer have trust in the person. I will however let go of my anger and pain. I will let God do the judging. I will protect my self so It does not happen again.

I will not forget. I will learn and try not to put my self in a place for the same thing to happen again. I will use the memory to learn from ,And not let it be a negative hurting me inside.

That Is What It Means.

To forgive is not to open yourself up to endless injury.

It is to let go of the anger and pain from the attack. So you do not hurt your self further by keeping it in.

Some times trust can be rebuilt . A relationship can be rebuilt. If you can do this that is great.

But you owe yourself the ability to let go of the bad parts,And learn from the situation.

You see this many times in movies. Well it has some truth in real life as well. A person lets the need for revenge fill them. When they finally get it. They are lost , and have wasted sometimes years chasing it.

You know the worst part?

Most of the time the person you want revenge on, could care less about hurting you. They are enjoying life as you waste yours trying to get revenge on them.

So in effect they win by hurting you twice,And it is your own fault because you choose to let them when you could have let the pain go and moved on.

I Hope

I hope this gives you reason to think about forgiveness. Even if you disagree. at least it may help you to think about the ones you need to forgive.

Thanks as always for reading my Ramble.


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    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      6 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      to give and to get creates many problems where as forgive and forget solves all the problems

    • bmcoll3278 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

      Thank you snowdrops

    • snowdrops profile image


      6 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      This is a very difficult topic to explain. But you did it on a very elegant way. Very good. I love this hub.

      Voted UP.

    • bmcoll3278 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

      daFuj Thank you.

    • daFuj profile image


      6 years ago from Colorado Springs

      Nice job on a difficult topic. Forgiveness is different things to different people as you made very clear. Mostly forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.

    • bmcoll3278 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

      kashmir56 Thank you that means a lot. I will keep rambling

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Enjoyed reading you ramble and agree with everything you have written. Forgiving someone helps us more than the person we are forgiving,Great job !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • bmcoll3278 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

      ChristyWrites Thanks for the kind words.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I like that you link to the different religions. I am honoured that I helped inspire you to write on this topic. Well done.

    • bmcoll3278 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

      msorensson Thank You.

    • msorensson profile image


      6 years ago

      Actually, anger generates a lot of free radicals that damage the cell membranes of the cells in the body..

      I could go on and on..however it is not necessary..

      It is not good to be angry for the person who feels the anger, so much that when a Zen Master gets angry, he immediately neutralizes it by apologizing to the person whom he got angry with..

      Good hub. Thanks


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