Some people vow never to forgive because they think they are punishing their offenders. But this is far from the truth. When you do not forgive others, you are hurting yourself emotionally. The wound goes deeper. You are not a happy person. You are miserable.
Maybe a fellow worker jeopardized your job. Perhaps he said something to your boss which made him to write you up and you are now in danger of losing your job. You know the repercussions of not having a job. There may be a domino effect which will affect you in unrelated areas of your life. You find it difficult to forgive. You are angry, upset, and the more you think about it, the more anger rises within you.
While you are pining away on your bed because of the hurt inflicted upon you, your offender may be at home, enjoying a good night of rest. You continue to toss on your bed, unable to sleep. You think of the pain the person caused you, and a dagger simply goes through your heart. You become an emotional wreck. You wake up thinking of the hurt. You sleep with the thought.
At work, you may even become absent minded, because you are preoccupied with the offense. You have become emotionally crippled! After your offender made you a victim, you are now becoming a victim again - only now, it is a self-inflicted victimization because you refused to forgive. For the sake of your own peace of mind and sanity, decide to forgive. Not to forgive is to incur additional problems to your self.
I remember the feeling that came over me after I forgave James. At first, I had made up my mind to forgive him because I thought it was an accident. But when I read in the Lincoln Journal Starr, Lincoln’s newspaper that he was drunk I thought I was punishing him by withdrawing my forgiveness. I was so mad, furious, and enraged. How could I forgive? But about a year later, when my friend,
Beverly Jones, counseled me and encouraged me to forgive, I experience a load that was rolled off my shoulder. I did not know I was carrying a burden. But as I repeated to myself that I forgave him, I became free within. I felt lighter. I felt elated in my heart. Forgiveness is good for the emotions.