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How to ask for forgiveness - Quantitive Research

Forgiveness in Religion

Most of us have heard all these phrases when people begin to speak about forgiveness and what they think it means. Though the meaning of forgiveness can be argued, almost everyone agrees on its importance. So with that in mind, here are some basic facts about forgiveness they apply in our everyday lives.

1. When we can't forgive, it affects our relationship with others.

A. Unforgiving affects our relationship with the one we cannot forgive. 

Unforgiving sets up a barrier between ourselves and the other person. We can't or don't want to speak about the problem or things that remind us about the problem. When the person who as hurt us brings up anything that reminds us of the problem, we often become angry or frustrated and respond in one of two ways; we either begin to yell and say things we regret, or we become silent and refuse to speak. Either way, it affects the relationship and keeps it from becoming the best it can be.

B. Unforgiving affects our relationship with others. 

When we can't forgive somebody for something, that topic becomes a sensitive area in our lives. Sometimes we begin to see the same problems in others and try to avoid those people. Sometimes someone else will bring up the sensitive topic, either intentionally or unintentionally. Since most people don't really like to talk about a weakness in their lives, in these situations we usually don't respond very well. It becomes known as an area that others try to avoid, and you lose that candidness most people enjoy in others. This limits the number of people we can have a true, open relationship with and pushes many others away.

C. Unforgiving affects our relationship with God.

God plainly says in Matthew 6:15, "If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." It is a command from God to forgive others "even as God, for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Eph 4:32) So, when we don't forgive, we are sinning against God. Isaiah 59:2 tells us, "But your iniquities have separated you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, that He will not hear." It is probably fairly safe to say that when someone cannot hear us, we cannot have the best of relationships with them.

2. The second fact about forgiveness is that it is a choice, or rather, it begins with a choice.

Though forgiveness is much more than words, it must begin there. People are funny in that they need to hear the words dealing with our deepest emotions - some more, others less. But we also know the phrase "actions speak louder than words." People need to not only hear the forgiveness, but they need to see it through actions. Both words and actions must begin with the choice to "just do it." It is not always easy, but that means you choose not to get angry when your friend forgets to return your book or tells a lie about you. You choose not to say something hurtful in return or to not "forget" to return their book the next time you use it. Eventually you will find that you actions become habits and these things really begin to bother you less and less. And you never know, forgiveness itself might just become a habit.

3. We cannot forgive without God's help.

In the Lord's Prayer Jesus taught us to pray, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." This is in a list of things that we are asking God to do for us; like, "give us this day our daily bread," or "lead us not into temptation." God knew we would need help that is why He gave us the example of His Son, so we could forgive others as He forgave us. One of the last things Christ said on the cross was, "Father, forgive them." If I truly want to be like Christ, I must realize that I must forgive, especially in the most impossible situations. And for that strength, we must ask God for help, remembering that, "what is impossible with man is possible with God."

4. And last of all, for forgiveness to be full and complete, it must come from the heart.

Forgiveness must result, not just in a change of mind, but in a change of feelings. When God offers us forgiveness, He also offers us the relationship of sons and daughters with Him. Now that does not mean we must adopt everyone we forgive, but take a good look at John 3:16. "For God so LOVED the world...." True forgiveness results in a changing of our emotions and feelings and eventually in our relationship. It changes the position of the person who has offended us from enemy to friend (trust is however another issue). You might say that an evidence of deep, true forgiveness is the presence of a deep love for that person that you would be willing to put their needs above your own. It is an unexplainable occurrence without the love of God in our hearts.

So, in conclusion, though there may be many "facts" about forgiveness, it is really not a fact at all. Forgiveness is a matter of the heart. A matter of a heart that is so patterned after God that His love flows through us and ultimately so does His forgiveness.

[Quantitive Research // Secondary Research]
[Source // BUZZLE]

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