Title: Forgiveness And Christianity_1
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The word Forgiveness is one that is very commonly used amongst humans in all areas of endeavour. It is the noun of the word Forgive. Several definitions have been given for forgiveness but the most appropriate seems to be that agreed upon by psychologists. They define Forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feeling of resentment or vengeance towards a person or group who has harmed you regardless of whether they deserve it or not. The definition will be better appreciated if the defining words in the definition are given a deeper scrutiny.
The following should be noted about Forgiveness:
1. There must be a beneficiary of the act of Forgiveness. Such may be a human being or an animal but must have the ability to cause harm. There may even be the need to forgive oneself is some situations but there must be a beneficiary of the act of Forgiveness.
2. Forgiveness is a decision which means that it is an act carried out after proper examination of available facts.
3. It must be an established fact that the beneficiary of the act of Forgiveness has actually harmed the one that has decided to Forgive. It will be completely impossible to forgive someone who or something that has not been harmful in any way.
However, once the harm can be traced to a source, then Forgiveness will be relevant.
The definition implies that the act of Forgiveness does not wait for a judgement that determines whether the one that harmed is guilty or not. It is an act that is taken whether the beneficiary deserves it or not.
It is however an act that must be based on a decision that is:
1. Consciously taken. It means that Forgiveness cannot be a decision by someone who is not in control of him/her self. Such must be very much aware of what he or she is doing and the possible consequences. Any situation that affects the alertness of the one that is forgiving may nullify the act of Forgiveness.
2. Deliberate in nature. This implies that the one that is forgiving must do so intentionally. It is an act that must be done on purpose and so cannot be an accidental event even if surrounding activities give that impression. The pre-determination to carry out that act must exist for the act of Forgiveness to be meaningful.
By this, psychologists believe that he who wants to forgive must do so willingly and be in full control of his/her senses as anything short of that will nullify the act.
The real act that demonstrates forgiveness is the release the feeling of resentment or vengeance towards the one who created the harm. This is where Forgiveness becomes difficult for man as the continued existence of the pain of the harm makes it very difficult for the one that is hurt to Forgive. Verbal statements of intention to Forgive may be made but the persistence of the pain that the harm is causing makes true Forgiveness extremely difficult although not impossible. Forgiveness expects that once it is given, every feeling of bitterness or intention to inflict pain in retaliation is no longer existing in the one who claims to have Forgiven.
In conclusion and as far as psychologists are concerned, Forgiveness cannot be true if;
1. The one who wants to forgive has not established that he/she has suffered some harm.
2. The one who wants to forgive has not established that such harm resulted from the actions or inactions of the one who is to benefit from the act of Forgiveness.
3. The decision to forgive was not consciously taken.
4. The decision to forgive was not deliberate.
5. The one who claims to forgive still holds a feeling of resentment.
6. The one who claims to forgive still has the intention to revenge.
7. The one who claims to forgive is acting on the conviction that the beneficiary of the act of Forgiveness deserves it or not.
Violation of any or all of the above seven points puts a huge question mark on the genuineness of the act of Forgiveness and may actually nullify it entirely.
Psychologists may have provided a good definition for Forgiveness but in life, it is not about good definition but how it sits with the individual. As earlier mentioned, it may be slightly easier to forgive, if the harm is no longer in existence. By this, it means that the effect of the harm is no longer being felt. There may be some scar but it is not an open wound or one that is bleeding. The situation may however not be that easy if the wound is still fresh or worse still, still bleeding. The decision to forgive can not be simply a human decision at that point, in most cases, as it will require supernatural abilities to be able to see beyond the pain been caused by the harm and so discount the memory of what caused the harm. This is why psychologists will be limited in their attempt to proffer solution when Forgiveness is required. The effective solution will only be one that confers supernatural ability. That is why the search for Forgiveness would have to stretch into Christianity.
This concludes the first part of this article. Please feel free to download the full article from our website: www.crossandcrownchristianministry.org. You may also send your reactions to: firstname.lastname@example.org