Learn to Forgive; life is so short!

…all people should learn to forgive; since life is so short, things are so much better if you forgive – Cristiano  Ronaldo.

Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo recently appeared on Italian television show – ‘C’e posta per te’ (I have a letter for you) – to help a feuding mother and daughter restore their relationship.

The mother had sent the daughter to live with her dad due to financial reasons. The daughter wasn’t happy about this and it caused the two of them to fall out. The mother then wrote a letter to the daughter which was delivered by Ronaldo on the show.

Addressing the daughter, Ronaldo said “I have followed your story, and one thing I will say from the bottom of my heart is that all people should learn to forgive; since life is so short, things are so much better if you forgive. “I think you should forgive your mother, because life is so short and forgiving her will make you both so much happier.”

For more on this story go to http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/world-of-sport/ronaldo-reunites-mother-daughter-tv-155207877.html

Life is indeed short and things are so much better if we forgive. People will upset us, especially people who are very close to us and this includes our spouses, And who can be closer to us than our spouse? But we must learn to forgive. The American Psychological Association (APA) identified that the people most likely to hurt us are the people closest to us (Forgiveness: A sampling of research results. available from http://www.apa.org/international/resources/forgiveness.pdf).

We need to learn to forgive because it is not something that comes easy. According to Mahatma Ghandi, “…the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

Forgiveness sometimes requires forgoing our pride when we are hurt. Forgiving is even more difficult when the offending party does not accept they are wrong or when they are not quick to apologise and ask for forgiveness.

The Bible also has some things to say about forgiveness:

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” – Matthew 18: 21 – 22 NLT

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” – Matthew 5: 23 – 24 NLT

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tender hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:31 – 32 NLT

When we don’t forgive, we suffer and go through pain. Our relationships suffer and we begin to read meanings into simple actions of the one we are angry with. Again the APA identified some of the benefits of forgiveness as aiding psychological healing through positive changes, improving physical and mental health and helping to bring about reconciliation between the offended and the offender

Since we have identified that our spouses are in the group of people most likely to forgive us, our attitude towards forgiveness will play an important role in building our marriage.

Since forgiveness is something we need to learn, we must begin by practicing. Don’t wait until your spouse hurts you in a big way. We should start practicing by forgiving those who offend us daily. Start with the simple things.

We should also pray to God for help and grace when we find it difficult to forgive. And when we are at fault, we should make it easier for our loved ones by being quick to apologise and admit we are at fault. This in itself is a sign of maturity.

Remember, God wants us to  “Do all that we can to live in peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18 NLT

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