Andrews begins this chapter with the statement I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. Og Mandino begins his story of the Best Salesman in the World with the statement “I will greet this day with love in my heart.” What I have found is that almost all motivational writers believe the same idea, they just say it a bit different.
This principle is about realizing the prison we put ourselves in when we harbor ill will toward someone. Our feelings are not about them, it’s about us. When we carry a grudge, it sticks in our mind until we do something about it. And that is either we seek revenge, or we forgive. Both choices have consequences and it appears that forgiving works the best in the long run.
It’s funny, in our society everyone wants to exercise their free will. People want to be free to do what they want, within reason. Yet, when we harbor a grudge, someone else is in charge of how we feel. Chances are they are not going to do anything to help us, so why do we let them have that control over us? Why not just forgive those that criticize us unjustly? And the truth is, they may never ask for forgiveness, just forgive them in your heart and be done with it. If you need to tell them you forgive them, just go ahead and feel better. Done deal.
Andrews also states that forgiveness probably means more to us than the person we are forgiving, forgiveness is about a decision not an emotion, and forgiveness is about us, not anyone else. So if forgiveness means more to us than anyone else, just forgive.
Most of all, we should learn to forgive ourselves. When we make mistakes, we live with that. Those mistakes could ruin our day, month or year. Give yourself a gift, the gift of forgiveness.
We have all heard that it is not our job to judge. And we have heard that we should treat others as we want to be treated. I have another take on this. See, in heaven, there will be no negativity, no pain, no tears. Everything will be all right. But how are we going to fit in if we walk through this life being angry at people that criticize, condemn or complain about us? There is a good chance that we will see them in heaven. Then what are we going to do when we see them again? I think forgiveness is God’s way of making us feel better now and in eternity. What do you think?