The three words I forgive you can mean so much to a person. To me, forgiveness is a simple as letting go of selfish pride. Forgiveness requires someone to search their heart and find it in themselves to forgive. It takes a strong person to say the words I forgive you, but I believe if we all learned to be the forgiver in a situation when we are the ones who are hurt, the world we live in could be positively influenced.
Throughout my lifetime, I have been in arguments with people more times than I can even remember. Whether I was fighting over a boy, arguing over who was the most popular or something else ridiculous like that; I would always be the one to say sorry. I was the girl who always thought it was my fault and that I should be the first one to apologize, but one day I learned that I couldn’t always get out of the situation that easy. I had to learn to be on the other end of the circumstance and take blame off of myself and become the forgiver. Saying sorry for me was always the easy route because that meant someone else was forgiving me. But, on one certain day there was no way I was getting out of having to search my heart to forgive my friend.
My friend Julie had invited me to go on a trip with her for spring break. I was really excited because my family had always made me go on vacation with them, but this time they gave into the pressure of my whining and told me I could go. I was ecstatic, but my excitement was soon put to an end when she called me about a week later and said her parents decided she couldn’t take anyone. I was really upset, but I understood how parents just sometimes change their mind without any notice. I mean I had two of my own; how could I not understand. After spring break one of my friends stopped me on my way to class and said, “I thought you were supposed to go with Julie on spring break?” Of course I replied with a bummed out voice, “Yes but her parents changed their mind at the last minute and said she couldn’t take a friend. “ Out of curiosity I asked, “What brought that up?” She then proceeded to tell me that she was pretty sure that Julie had taken a friend on the trip. I was so upset when I heard this. Julie had told me that a friend couldn’t go and then she took someone, and not to mention, it was a boy. I was outraged, so without thinking I called Julie as soon as I got home from school and told her I had found out that she had lied to me. After I got finished speaking my mind to her, all she could say was, “I am so sorry.” Sorry meant nothing to me at the time, so I told her I didn’t care and then I slammed down the phone in frustration. I was not used to being the one having to forgive someone. Once I hung up the phone and got over being upset with her, I had to search my heart and find it in myself to forgive. I knew I had to, but after what she had done to me, I really didn’t want to. After thinking about it for a couple of days and realizing that her friendship was too important to me for it to come to an end over something that I could change, I called her and told her the three words that I thought I would never be able to, “I forgive you.” After I hung up the phone, I felt free. I had thrown aside my selfish pride and accepted the fact that we will ask for forgiveness at some point in our lives and we would all want to be forgiven. So for me to finally have the opportunity to forgive someone and really mean it; was a great feeling. I believe if I had not said those three words to her, then our friendship would have no longer existed. To me, it is not worth losing a friend because our nature is too selfish and stubborn to learn to forgive. Through this experience in my life, I truly found that forgiving someone is just as rewarding as being the first to say sorry.
Too often when people are wronged they are stubborn and never end up forgiving that person. This ends up being detrimental and can often cause the relationship between the two people to be ruined. This all happens because of a sense of pride that person who was hurt can’t get over. This lack of forgiveness is by no means productive for society and if people would simply put their pride aside, this would promote positive efforts in our world. If one is wronged, then I believe we should gladly forgive because it benefits not only the person who has hurt us but ourselves as well. “To forgive someone is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you,” is a quote by Lewis B. Smedes that shows that when a person fails to forgive, they are trapping themselves. To forgive is to set them free of this trap and if we all would come to realize this then I believe we would have a more loving, caring society free from the chains that hold us captive. I believe in forgiveness.
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