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2 Great Reasons to Forgive Others

How easy-going are we? How often in life—at work or anywhere—does a person do something that we feel hurt by in some way? When that happens, do we feel resentful? Are we actively carrying anger and blame?

09-20 Black-Eyed Susans 2

Forgiving Is Good for Our Health. There’s ample research suggesting that not forgiving others is really hard on us: physical and mental health both suffer.

Forgiving Is Good for Performance. Plus, imagine the impact on performance. Being angry or resentful is distracting. How do we do our best work in a state like that?

forgive: stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake
— Oxford American Dictionary

There are the big, obvious things, but also, the little everyday things:

  • That trainer just said something that isn’t true.
  • He didn’t give me credit for my idea.
  • She didn’t say hello.

We could go through an entire day piling up little resentments, and who needs it?

Do we have a choice? Of course.

Instead of being resentful, we can have compassion. (Not that I have mastered this, but I keep working on it. And of course it’s easier for the little things than for the big, life-altering hurts that eventually touch nearly everyone.)

The Dalai Lama talks about forgiveness as a daily practice:

All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness … the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”
— Dalai Lama

Here is a lovely quote from a conversation between Michael Hyatt and Donald Miller that puts forgiveness in a way I hadn’t heard before:

My pastor, Rick, defines forgiveness as taking the burden that somebody has given you and carrying it, without ever holding them responsible.

So the burden doesn’t go away, but emotionally you are no longer holding this person responsible for what you are carrying.”
— Donald Miller

This week I met a couple of lovely women who have survived enormous wrongs. Their stories touched me, and I was amazed that they are not only healing, but they are also organizing their lives to help others with similar stories to heal, too.

It made me think again about forgiveness, for both big and little things, and the positive impact it can have for those who learn to forgive.


Article | Four Elements of Forgiveness

Article | Mayo Clinic on Forgiveness

Video | Interview with Donald Miller

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