Why Do We Forgive?

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“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”- Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness means freedom. When you forgive those who have hurt you, you are not letting them off the hook of pain, you are letting yourself off the hook of pain and resentment. When you forgive people, you are letting go of the past. You are now ready to move forward. It does not mean you are letting the other person go unpunished. It means that you are letting go of the pain inflicted upon you by that person.

So, why do we forgive?

In her book The How of Happiness: A New Approach To Getting The Life You Want, Sonja Lyubomirsky writes: “In the long run, the preoccupation, hostility, and resentment that we harbor serve only to hurt us, both emotionally and physically.” She adds: “Forgiveness can be regarded in the larger context of community and society; it can deepen our sense of shared humanity (that we are not alone in experiencing hurts) and strengthens our personal relationships and our wider connections with others.”

You forgive people to let yourself off the hook of pain and resentment, to let go of the past, to be yourself again, to enjoy your life, to live in the moment, to focus on what is relevant to you and others, to be happy, to improve your health and well-being, to let the other person go, to free yourself from prisoner, to connect with loving people, to build your character, and to love and be loved again.

Don’t allow resentment to poison your life. Choose happiness, love, humility, courage, gratitude, and forgiveness, and move on. Enjoy your life!

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