In your relationships with people, offenses are a given but forgiveness must be your give out.
To be good at giving forgiveness and asking for forgiveness is to be good at making human relationships work. The priority of life is relationships and for that to be a reality in our lives, forgiveness must be a priority.
Living in a world of imperfection you do not demand perfect performance or behavior from people or from yourself. Taking responsibility for your actions is the forerunner of asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt or offended. An understanding and compassionate heart readily forgives the offender and lets go of the offense.
To be humble is to live in submission to what is right rather than cleaving to who is right, and to live in submission to what is right creates right relationships with people and outright responsibility for one’s actions; rightly forgiving others and rightly apologizing to others.
To be proud is to live in rejection of what is right and cleaving to who is right which produces wronged relationships with people; abdicating responsibility for one’s actions by passing blame; holding grudges and building up resentment on the root of bitterness, feeling too justified to apologize and incapable of forgiving others.
Unkind words will never create the kind of relationship that satisfies you. Stinging words only sting relationships and leave emotional wounds.
To be a pacemaker you must become a peacemaker. Apologizing is the strength of humility; refusing to apologize is the weakness of pride. Humility is rooted in love and pride is an offspring of selfishness. Apologies must be sincere if they must heal hurts and secure the strength of your relationships.
A genuine apology expresses regret for one’s words or actions that hurts or offends another. A sincere apology requires you to state what you did wrong e.g. “I apologize for being rude and using harsh words on you, I know I’ve really hurt your feelings. Could you please forgive me?” Apologies of this kind make the other person know that you are truly sorry and that you have acknowledged his or her own feelings.
A genuine apology accepts responsibility for one’s actions e.g. “My behavior was wrong and I accept responsibility for what I did.”
A genuine apology requires you to write wrongs. Actions speak louder than words and words penetrate the heart. Restitution raises the level of harmony in relationships. A genuine apology demands a change in behavior because a change of mind consequently leads to a change of behavior.
It is important to note that forgiveness is not a feeling but rather it is a decision we make irrespective of how we feel. Forgiving is not forgetting because the memory bank is not deleted but rather forgiving is choosing to forget by choosing not to replay the offense in the “screen” of your mind thereby refusing to relive the memory.
Forgiveness does not cover up the consequences of all our actions. Every behavior or action attracts consequences and forgiveness does not undo the negative consequences of our wrong behavior; it can only restore the relationship and not remove all the negative consequences. Forgiveness should be unconditional but trust must be earned through the process of time.
Therefore, forgiving does not equate to trust. Trust must be earned through the process of time but forgiveness is an instantaneous decision without conditions attached.
Forgiveness must not necessarily lead to reconciliation with the offender because loving from a distance may be the healthy thing to do in a specific situation or the other person may not want reconciliation or even to accept to really forgive.
Time does not heal relationships but rather forgiveness heals relationships. Taking account of wrongs makes for a bitter record of discordant relationships. Insisting on being right in your relationships could wipe out your right to have peace in your relationships. You can lose being right and keep your right to live in peace.
Never win an argument at the expense of winning peaceful relationships. To lose an argument, to keep the peace is to lose the strife and keep the prize. Prize peace and you rise above relationship friction. Until you are at peace with yourself, you can’t live at peace with another. Until you are at peace with God, you cannot be at peace with yourself.
Choose your battles wisely; let go of your right to be right; let go of pettiness and trivial issues that make no difference in the big picture. Know the issues to overlook and know the issues to look into by confronting issues head-on when it comes to important matters.
Know your personal power in your relationships and use your personal power to create rewarding relationships. You can! You will!
THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU
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About the Author
Udeme Archibong is a prolific writer, an astute communicator and a model of excellence. Her writings have made profound impact on thousands of lives around the world through her blog: successrecipeblog.com, which has followings in over 70 countries in continents of the world.
She is a Self-Development Expert, who passionately works towards helping people maximize their destinies.
At some point, she was a motivational columnist, writing Success Recipe and Destiny Catalyst, for two Nigerian national newspapers, Vanguard and ThisDay, respectively. She is the initiator of the Revolution Series Seminars