What forgiveness is to me, anyway. Maybe some of my definitions and understandings of forgiveness are unconventional, maybe even wrong. But these thoughts about forgiveness help me to keep forgiving. And I think that is a good thing for me.
I looked up the definition of the word forgive. According to my dictionary:
forgive – to give up claim to requital from (an offender)
requital – something given in return, compensation, or retaliation
So, to put it in my words, it means to give up the demand for a payback from the offender.
That is the end of what forgiveness is.
Now a thought on what forgiveness might be.
I ended up asking myself at some point, do I really want payback from the offender? Maybe some would say yes. For me though, the kind of payback I wanted was not really anything the offenders of my life could give me directly.
I also asked myself, would I be willing to receive payback some other way? In another area of my life, or from another direction, or some other provider of the payback?
I have found it easier to forgive because of my faith in a scripture that says I will receive double return, or double compensation for things that have been stolen from me. I like to believe that somehow I will receive something near or symbolic of the opposite of what has been stolen.
For example, if I was a person who had to endure much criticism from someone, and I could forgive, then I would receive the gift and ability of encouraging others that would have double the impact of the criticism received. Or, if money was taken from me, I would receive at least double from somewhere else. Or, if my parents were unkind to me, I would have double the kindness returned to me by many people.
I have been hearing of different variations of this idea for awhile now. And maybe we are all crazy, but I think it is a great idea. I think it is rather beautiful. And encouraging. And I think, in the area of forgiving, we could really use all the encouragement we can get.
May you find beautiful and encouraging ideas to help you forgive.