Forgiveness is an action. Forgiveness is an attitude. Forgiveness is a state of being.
Forgiveness is an action, an act of the will, especially when we don’t feel like forgiving or don’t believe others are worthy of forgiveness. In the Book of Matthew, Yeshua (Jesus) is quoted as saying if we don’t forgive others, God will not forgive us. The Bible is not an accurate representation of God or Yeshua, in my opinion, and as far as this scripture is concerned, it reads more like a threat than a promise. Is it forgiveness if I forgive someone because I am fearful God will not forgive me? How do we know if the forgiveness is genuine, in that case? Nevertheless, the choice is ours. We can choose to forgive and not because we want to ensure God forgives us.
Forgiveness is an attitude. Living with an attitude of forgiveness means I choose to look beyond the transgressions of others. I can choose to forgive another because I know neither of us is perfect. Where we get into trouble is categorizing the severity of another’s transgressions. If I believe another’s transgressions are worse than mine, I will not likely choose to forgive. The Bible says all sin is equal in God’s eyes, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, does it? The Bible says God is a vengeful God and God’s vengeance is liberally sprinkled throughout the scriptures. It can’t be both ways. Vengeance implies there are levels of severity, and if not, how do we interpret God’s vengeful actions? The church will say God is perfect and holy, and I don’t dispute that description, however, all sin is not equal if God’s punishment for some sins is harsher than others. Some would argue God says vengeance is His, meaning we are not to take action against sin, but will everyone get the same punishment? If not, there are levels of severity. This, in my mind, is one of the many contradictions found in scripture. Contradictions aside, we can choose to live within an attitude of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a state of being. Our state of being will determine our actions. Choosing to live within a state of forgiveness, we are choosing love over hate, we are choosing to see each person as a compilation of good and bad qualities and everything in between. We are choosing to live in this moment and not dwell on past transgressions. We are choosing to acknowledge our emotions surrounding an event or transgression, process the emotions, and move on.
If there is a God, Divine Love, Buddha, Allah, whoever, I believe we are expected to forgive. If there is no God or Supreme Being, I believe we should still forgive. In the end, we are the only ones hurt by unforgiveness…..