Chapter 7: Freedom Through Forgiveness
An Excerpt from You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
Forgive your brothers and sisters and you will set yourself free. You will set yourself free from all that you thought they did to you. They need not ask for forgiveness to be forgiven. They might even believe that there is nothing for which they need to be forgiven. That is fine. Do not concern yourself with how they choose to experience reality, for it has no effect on you, unless you allow it to. For something or someone to affect you, you must first allow it to affect you.
You can also choose not to forgive your brother. But what good has such behavior ever brought to your life? You might be trying to consciously or unconsciously punish a brother by not forgiving him. But who are you really punishing? Who carries that judgment with him wherever he goes? My friend, you might not consciously recognize that you are carrying this judgment, but it does simmer below the surface, coloring everything and everyone with whom you interact. Little by little, these judgments add up and weigh you down. You may be quick to anger, feel tired or stressed, and not understand why. Comments to other brothers and sisters may become nasty and your patience may fade. All this is due to your attempt to punish your brother by not forgiving him. My friend, again I ask you, who are you really punishing?
Anger. It’s a peculiar yet predictable emotion. It begins as a drop of water. An irritant. A frustration. Nothing big, just an aggravation. Someone gets your parking place. Someone pulls in front of you on the freeway. A waitress is slow and you are in a hurry. The toast burns. Drops of water. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Yet, enough of these seemingly innocent drops of anger and before long you’ve got a bucket full of rage. Walking revenge. Blind bitterness. Unharnessed hatred. We trust no one and bare our teeth at anyone who gets near. We become walking time bombs that, given just the right tension and fear, could explode. Now, is that any way to live? What good has hatred ever brought? What hope has anger ever created? What problems have ever been resolved by revenge? 22
Footnote / Acknowledgement
22. Max Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him Savior, Copyright 1998 (Thomas Nelson, Inc.)
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