Forgiveness does not excuse the offending behaviour. Forgiveness excuses the offender. The fact that God forgives us of sin, does not make sinning okay. The fact that we forgive someone of their sin towards us, does not make the sin okay.
Hearing ‘I’m sorry’, ‘I messed up’, ‘I feel terrible for what I did’ is like music to our ears. It feels good when someone acknowledges their wrongdoing towards you and oftentimes it makes it much easier to forgive them, right? But what if they never apologise. The reality is that some people will never apologise for their wrongdoing towards you, and waiting on them to apologise before you forgive will cost you your mental freedom. This is why we must LEARN TO FORGIVE, EVEN WITHOUT AN APOLOGY.
The psychology of memory can explain why ‘forgiving and forgetting’ is rarely the case! Our memories are so powerful and a single experience can become entrenched in our long-term memory to the point that it becomes a cue for future expectations.
Remembering an event, a situation, or a person can evoke a shiver of excitement, the heat of anger, or the anguish of grief. Although emotion that is activated by a memory may not be felt as intensely as the actual experience, the recall can be enjoyable or painful nonetheless. Thankfully, the command is to forgive and not necessarily to forget, because let’s face it — it is virtually impossible to forget certain experiences whether good or bad.
This devotional is where ‘psychology meets scripture’ on the topic of forgiveness. Oftentimes, we passively forgive an offender, with a simple ‘I forgive you’, however, the challenge comes when you are reminded of their offence every time you see them. Or when you find it hard to get rid of that negative memory. Sometimes these recurring memories and feelings make you question whether you have really forgiven them or not.
You watch the series/show/film, the traumatic event has ended, but your reaction to it has not. The intrusion of what we absorb via the media subconsciously invades our everyday lives, our identity, the way we see ourselves and the way we view others. It directs our decisions without knowing and becomes a veil over every experience from then onwards.
There is a fine line between simply empathising with another person’s state and fully rooting your own emotional identity in their experience.
So how do you deal with the overwhelming emotions projected by others around you? How do you ensure that you do not root your emotional identity in the emotions of another person?
Technology is a tool and like any tool it can be used for good or for bad. A knife can be used for cooking, a hammer or axe for building, but both can be used for harm. The tool has no morals or values, it is the user that brings their morals and values to the use of that tool. This is the same with technology.
The psychologist in me makes me understand another aspect of the use of technology as a tool. Anything that we use creates or exerts a degree of change in us, whether we realise it or not. For example, when you constantly use a pen or knife, after a while you may see an impression on your hands and fingers. Similarly, our use of technology creates impression marks on our minds which primes us for future activities, decisions, habits, expectations and relationships.
While it is very easy to ‘passively’ forgive an offender, with a simple ‘I forgive you’, the challenge comes when you are reminded of their offence every time you see them. Or when you find it hard to get rid of that negative memory. Sometimes these recurring memories and feelings, make you question whether you have really forgiven them or not. So what do we do when we have forgiven but we still remember?
There are moments where the phrase “too blessed to be stressed” couldn’t be further from the truth for me. I’m not sure where the phrase came from, however, I do agree that it is appealing to the ear and the concept sounds good. But what do you do when the blessing from God is weighty? … Continue reading The tension between feeling blessed and stressed