This I Believe

Sarah - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 8, 2006

I believe that forgiveness is the duct tape that holds life and love together. During the course of life, everyone is offended, and in turn, offends someone else. Without forgiveness, love is nonexistent, and without love, there is no reason to live.

God set the master example for me when He forgave me for every sin that I’ve done against Him. The least I can do is forgive others who wrong me. Forgiveness can be a soothing balm to a guilty soul. There is very little in life that is more relieving than knowing that the person that I’ve hurt is willing to reconcile our relationship and give me another chance. I believe that if I truly love someone, I must be able to forgive them of anything, no matter how hurtful their offense is. I define this as unconditional love. Forgiveness can heal a broken relationship and restore the love that once existed. There is no relationship that is worth losing simply because selfishness demands that I was right and deserve better treatment. If humility can overpower human nature and forgiveness be applied, any relationship can be preserved.

However, forgiveness goes much farther than forgiving loved ones. In order to be like Christ, I must also forgive my enemies. This is extremely hard, because the human soul would love nothing more than to dwell on how horrible the offender is and how justifiable revenge is. I know that there are times that I would relish the thought of something horrible happening to those that I detest. I think that it would bestow upon them the pain that they have caused me. In human perspective, this is only fair. However, when bitterness is allowed to run rampant through the soul, the moral decay that follows can be, and usually is more successful in destroying a person in ways that any offense could never even match. There are times I believe that I can’t forgive some one who hurts me. Their offense is just too great. However, I have realized it is not that I lack the capacity to forgive, but the desire to let go of the feelings of anger clinging to my soul. Harsh words hurt, but bitterness causes constant misery in the soul. Bruises will heal quickly; hatred only relinquishes its hold after an intense struggle.

True, I have never experienced the pain that some have when a loved one is murdered. Compared to some of the horrors that other people have faced, my problems seem virtually microscopic. I don’t know how I would deal with an offense that seems so unforgivable. I can only hope that I would hold to my beliefs and follow God in His master example of forgiveness.

This I believe. Humanity didn’t deserve a second chance. God gave one anyway, because He loved His creation. If I am to follow Him completely, I have to reciprocate His actions, even if I think it will kill me. I believe in forgiveness, undeserved or not.