By Emmett I. Aldrich
Have you ever said – I will never forgive that person? Or how about – I will forgive, but will never forget? If you lost a relative or close friend in one of the attacks of September 11th could you ever forgive the person(s) responsible? What if you were the victim of a crime, or had a relative who died as a result of a crime – could you forgive the person responsible? This doesn’t even address the question of whether others can forgive us for things we may have said or done in anger, where we regret it later, or wish that we could take it back and be forgiven for our actions or statements.
We hope that most of us may never experience something as devastating as the September 11th attacks or a crime, but we will no doubt experience hurtful situations everyday that will challenge our ability to forgive someone who we feel has committed an unforgivable wrong against us. Whether it is a specific act or just words that are very hurtful; chances are we will have a number of lifetime experiences that will raise the issue of forgiveness, consciously or subconsciously.
Forgiveness is perhaps one of the most emotional and psychological experiences we will ever encounter. It involves feelings of anger, revenge, resentment, hurt, hostility, sadness, bitterness, retaliation or retribution. At the same time, depending on whether we are seeking forgiveness, are asked to forgive someone else or forgive ourselves, it can also involve reconciliation, compromise, concessions, contrition, atonement, repentance or redemption.
This article proposes 10 ways in which we may be able to forgive from a Christian perspective. These 10 keys do not necessarily need to be done in any particular order. Rather, any one key alone may help you achieve some degree of forgiveness.
10 Keys to Forgiveness