Do Yourself A Favor ; Forgive !
A teacher asked her students to bring some tomatoes in a plastic bag to school. Each tomato was to be given the name of a person whom that child hates. So, the number of tomatoes would be equal to the number of persons they hate. On a pre-determined day, all the children brought their tomatoes, well addressed. Some had two, some had five; and some even had 20 tomatoes in accordance with the number of people they hated. The teacher then told them that they had to carry the tomatoes with them everywhere they went for two weeks, as the days passed, the children started to complain about the decay and the smell of the tomatoes. The students, who had many tomatoes, complained that that it was very heavy to carry and the smell was too much.
After a week, the teacher asked the students “how did you feel this week?” the children complained of the awful smell and heavy weight of the tomatoes, especially those who carried several tomatoes. The teacher said, “This is very similar to what you carry in your heart when you don’t like some people. Hatred makes the heart unhealthy and you carry that hatred everywhere. If you can’t bear the smell of spoilt tomatoes for a week, imagine the impact of bitterness in your heart as you carry it daily.
We have all been hurt by someone at some point in our lives. Some hurts are easier to forgive, while for others…it takes a lot more than your will to forgive and let go. I have met people who have been hurt so badly, that they find it impossible to forgive. And most times they all ask the same questions. Can I really be able to forgive and forget? Won’t I be reliving the person that hurt me of the burden of guilt, when I forgive him? why can’t I forgive?. For better understanding, I will take the questions one at a time
Won’t I be reliving my offender from the guilt of hurting me? The best thing you can do for yourself is to forgive. Unforgiveness keeps you locked in a prison of your mind, for the crime committed by another, and longer than you bargained for. The main focus of forgiveness is not to relieve your offender from the guilt of hurting you, but to relieve you from the load of anger and bitterness. By learning to forgive, you give yourself a chance to heal, let go and move forward. So long as you keep holding on to that hurt you feel, you can’t move on, because that burden of bitterness and unforgiveness you are carrying will keep pulling you back.
Those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself-Richard Nixon
If you want to live travel far and wide, unpack your heart of all your envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, rage, and fear. Learn to only look back at the past with gratitude and thanksgiving, but don’t dwell on it, or it will ruin your present and future.
Can I really be able to forgive and forget? First and foremost, there is nothing like ‘forgive and forget’. The human mind is not designed to forget a thing, which is why you still have memories. Even the computer do not “forget’ a command, except when deleted. Unlike the computer, you cannot delete memories, good or bad from the human mind. Yes, you can suppress them (hypnosis), but the will always resurface with the right trigger. True forgiveness is when you remember the hurtful event in your life, not with bitterness or anger, but with acceptance and peace. You will know you have truly forgiven when you don’t feel that hurt or anger at seeing the person who hurt you, or remembering the hurtful event.
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it enlarges the future-John Mason.
Why can’t I forgive? Everybody can forgive. In every man is the ability, power, or grace to forgive. It is how God made us, but most times we find it hard to forgive those who hurt. I have discovered that often times, those who complain of their inability to forgive are those who are finding it hard to forgive themselves. You can’t show forgiveness, if you are still angry with yourself. I find this trait mostly in victims of physical and emotional abuse, they go through life with the many ‘what if’s’ they don’t and cannot find answers to; but you must learn to forgive yourself.
It doesn’t matter what had happened, it is in the past, and we shouldn’t let it determine our future. Learn to forgive yourself of the hurt and anger you feel, only then can you be able to forgive with all your heart. I highly recommend you read Joyce Meyer’s books ‘do yourself a favor-forgive’ and beauty from ashes’, you would be highly motivated.
So friends, let us make a resolution today to forgive all who have hurt us. I have found the secret to forgiving those that hurt you is in praying for them. When you pray for those who hurt you, God gives you the grace to forgive readily available.
Have you ever been hurt so badly that you find it quite impossible to forgive? We would love to hear your experience and how you finally forgave.