“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” – Bernard Meltzer
I learned many years ago that forgiveness, and letting go of the anger, frees your soul to be able to look ahead and dream of the things yet to come.
Simply put, forgiveness doesn’t excuse; forgiveness sets you free.
I’ve also learned there are three distinct faces of forgiveness. Each one is wrapped in grace and offers the opportunity for healing, reconciliation and peace.
The face of giving forgiveness
Who do you need to forgive right now? Who do you need to call, write or email and say, “I forgive you”? Is it your parent, sibling or a friend? Do you need to forgive your partner or spouse?
When you show the face of giving forgiveness, you’re not letting the other person off the hook; you are giving yourself the freedom to move on in life.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
The face of receiving forgiveness
What do you need to be forgiven for? Have you made a mistake, did something wrong or said something inappropriate? Who needs to forgive you?
When you show the face of receiving forgiveness, the shame you once felt begins to slip away. You begin to feel worthy again and you no longer have the need to hide your imperfections. Receiving forgiveness doesn’t bring the end of love; it brings the return of love.
“Forgiveness is the final form of love.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
The face of God’s forgiveness
God’s forgiveness is unconditional. God will not punish or reject you. By refusing to ask God for forgiveness, you are only punishing yourself because His mercy is absolute.
When you open your eyes and see the face of God’s forgiveness, you are allow yourself to let go of what has been keeping you from living in God’s grace and love.
“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain