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Understanding Forgiveness and Forgiveness Word Concept

The word forgiveness is defined as the act of excusing an offender or a wrongdoer who has committed a mistake. Synonyms of the word forgiveness include, pardoning, condonation, exculpation among others. Other authorities have defined forgiveness as the compassionate feelings that support a willingness to forgive. However, confusion surrounds what really is involved with forgiveness. To forgive is not to acknowledge that things are fine and later return to offensive situations and is not also absolute love without any limits but should be full of accountability. In additional, it may be suggested that to forgive does not necessarily mean that you accept the offender’s evil behavior. During our lifetimes, we have engaged with several people as business partners, relatives and friends and sometimes we end up been hurt in one way or another. We always remember the times we have been slandered, injured, falsely accused, cheated or maligned in some way. The depth of pain sometimes leaves a deep scar (depression) on our soul that we feel them to be un-forgivable (Mckenna, 126). God gives us much guidance when it comes to forgiveness. According to the bible, we forgive persons because we have been forgiven by God; we also forgive in obedience to God. In addition, we forgive others to gain control of our lives from hurt emotions and so that we won’t become bitter and besmirch those around us. Sometimes it becomes difficult to forgive those people who wrong us. The pain is so much to bear and hatred fills our soul. It therefore becomes easy to act how we feel rather than act according to the virtue. This typically leads to the likelihood of someone on the edge of not forgiving others since he or she is filled with bitterness. On the other hand, bitterness has been linked to stress-related diseases by medical researching institute. Forgiving others leads to liberation of the spirit and emotions as one is freed from the bondage. It can be seen as a way of submitting and being obedient to God and that only God will heal our injured souls. Forgiveness is a process and most of us struggle to attain it. This has been observed in some people who have undergone abusive lives full of trauma, for example rape. Such people need time to heal as it is only God who will give them the divine power of healing. For each one of us, the will to forgive is therefore a divine one that comes from God at His chosen time. This act is between us and God and we only forgive persons face-to-face when asked to do so by those people we hurt. Medical doctors, church leaders, counselors and relatives should encourage those people on the journey of healing, reassuring them encouragement words and shedding light in their future. This in addition include giving them a shoulder to cry on, fighting for their rights and most importantly seeing that justice has prevailed in their cases. Apart from biblical, the need of forgiveness can be explained under the umbrella of psychological. In psychological, forgiveness analyzes the feelings or attitudes of the person forgiving the offender and how the two parties benefits. The definition of forgiveness in psychology is the most comprehensively formulated and clearly articulated as it provides the framework of quantitatively measuring the degree of interpersonal forgiveness in behavioral and cognitive spheres. By definition, forgiveness is suggested to be the action of conquering the negative effect followed by judgment of the offender. Since forgiveness is a process, we should allow justice to prevail and not stop on the way after maybe viewing the offender with compassion or feeling sorry for them. Their sins should be punished for a health community. The perspective of forgiveness in psychology is divided into several parts. The forgiver who have endured deep wound eventually becomes bitter. The offended party has a moral right to resentment but overcomes it eventually nonetheless. The response of forgiveness accrues both compassion and love. The loving response occurs notwithstanding the realization that there is no obligation to love the offender.

The psychological reaction of forgiveness involves the presence of positive effect on ruling and actions toward the perpetrators. Other faculties have defined forgiveness to integrate volitional, spiritual, religious and motivational aspect of forgiveness. The true meaning of forgiveness is surrounded by various misinterpretations. To forgive and forget slogan has been used by several people. But how can a six years old child and her parent forget the horror trauma that she experienced when she was raped? How can we forget when our houses and properties were set ablaze? This trauma are flesh in our minds and souls and therefore we need to be given time to heal and forgive. To ensure that this kind of evils does not arise again we need to forgive and remind the perpetrators of the wrongs they committed. Even when we forgive the offenders, the evil act still remains evil. Freedman and Enright explained that to forgive transforms one mind toward the offender when justice is done (984). Some authorities have linked forgiveness and reconciliation. This happens when the offenders admits to their mistakes and changes their evil lives. Reconciliation may only occur when the two parties are willing to reciprocate one another. The offended should also make a step further by accepting the perpetrators and make an amendment. There is a gap between forgiveness and reconciliation and it is not necessary that forgiveness will eventually lead us to reconcile. Forgiveness is further divided into pseudo and genuine forgiveness. Pseudo forgiveness is a situation whereby we forgive the wrongdoers partly. This means that we hold bitterness or resentments against them. On the other hand, complete forgiveness means forgiving our trespassers fully. This is experienced when one is completely transformed and fully accepts the apology of the offender. Sometimes, this type of forgiveness has elicited numerous debate with most experts question how it is possible to replace hatred and compassion when one is subjected to anger. Some people, it is reasonable to maintain the physical difference or psychological one to avoid being hurt until the offender is completely charged by justice or has changed his or her evil ways. Others have suggested that such physical barriers should disappear when one has completely been transformed or undergone genuine forgiveness. All aspects of faith have stressed on the importance of forgiveness. Forgiveness is seen as a moral imperative and very importantly as a theological command. This is the only way for humans to overcome condemnation and hatred and proceed in our daily duties. Forgiveness has also been linked to the virtue of being kind. In addition, it must be broad, muscular and be able to withstand the outrages and inhumane actions. Forgiveness should not be forced by rather it should involve willingly replacing depressing feelings with compassion. It also involves embracing the offenders compassionately despite the strong feelings of animosity and bitterness which calls for a very demanding task (Mckenna, 124). To gain control of our lives, future and healing of emotion wounds, this virtue has to be allowed to control our lives. It is possible to overcome hatred through the virtue of forgiveness.

Work Cited

Freedman, S. R, & Enright, R. D. “Forgiveness as an intervention goal with incest survivors.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 64.5 (1996) 983-992.

Mckenna, M. Rites of Justice. New York: Orbis Books, 1997.


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