Why Forgive?

(Image courtesy of: imgflip.com)

By: Zach Fulwood

Have you ever been in a situation where someone has done you wrong and as a result, you wanted nothing to do with them but were told that you needed to forgive them in order to feel better about the situation? I’ve been there before and I never could understand the notion that somehow I’ll be freed of some imaginary burden if I choose to forgive someone who clearly did not have my best interest at hand.

Before I go too far, understand that I am aware of those rare moments when holding a grudge against somebody becomes unhealthy and more detrimental to your well-being than the person who actually wronged you was. In these moments, you should absolutely exercise the method of forgiveness because your mental and physical health is on the line. In most other instances however, you can probably do without the whole forgiveness thing.

To me, forgiveness is a bit overrated. I know it sounds like the right thing to do and it allows you to come out of a negative situation as the bigger person but, do you really need to be the bigger person? Who’s judging this battle of moral superiority? By not forgiving someone, do you then become just as bad as they are? It’s like when you’re a child and your parents tell you to accept an apology from another child who pushed you. You accept it because your parents told you to but you still don’t like the kid and your urge to push them right back still exists.

When it comes to the idea of forgiving, it’s important to not associate characterizations to people based on if they’re a forgiving person or not. Forgiving someone doesn’t make you weak and choosing not to forgive doesn’t make you strong. The two aren’t mutually exclusive and one can be true without the other.

I say all this to say, forgiveness is great and we all have probably sought out forgiveness from someone at one time or another but everyone doesn’t deserve the effort you put in to forgiving them, including us. You don’t have to wish someone bad or anything but it’s entirely possible to simply not care enough about them to forgive them. If your conscious is already clear, what are you gaining by forgiving?

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