How Much Are We Supposed to Forgive?

I have often found myself suppressing emotions in fear that I will hurt someone. It is a rare thing for me to become openly angry or upset and express such sentiments towards the cause directly. Some may say it is a good thing that I can control such negative thoughts; the alternative, after all, could mean unnecessarily hurting another just because of a spur-of-the-moment anger brought on by pre-menstruation, an overall bad day, etc. However, isn’t also possible to obtain the opposite extreme? What I mean to say (or ask) is this: is it possible to forgive too often and too much?

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~ by thechanster on 2:37 pm, Sunday, July 26, 2009.

One Response to “How Much Are We Supposed to Forgive?”

  1. i would answer no to both.

    i think forgiveness is a wonderful healing process no matter the magnitude or frequency of the wrong. not only does it grant the forgiver peace, but i think we’re at our best when we can love someone without asking them to change, earn, or return our respect.

    with that said though, i think if we really respect the people we forgive and are close enough to them we’re also responsible to help them and understand them. what i mean by this is that Person A could forgive Person B for being rude and insensitive, but if the two are close then Person A probably still has a responsibility to help Person B understand how his/her actions are negatively affecting others, or at least get to the root of the issue.

    another thing about forgiveness is that i think it’s often mixed up with other actions or emotions. like i know personally there are many times when i don’t like what someone else has done and i just don’t let them know about it, holding that anger/judgement/sadness inside of me. to me this is not forgiveness at all. in the end it can be just as poisonous to me as it might have been to others if i spewed everything i felt.

    so even though i think forgiveness is always the answer, i also believe we probably have to find a healthy balance of what to do when we have a hard time forgiving (which we’re all probably going to have). and i think it’s important to understand why we even should forgive in the first place-why is it important not to hurt others, not to hurt ourselves? why is it better to be at peace?

    i don’t know that the answers are as obvious as them seem.

    p.s. what’s the worse that can happen when you forgive “too much”? i think many people would say that in that case you’ll be run over by others and nobody will respect you because they don’t have to (after all, you’ll forgive them for anything they do…)

    i don’t think this is true.

    i think that when we do bad things and people forgive us it often hurts just as much or more as when they punish us, hurt us back, or stand in judgement. i’m not saying everybody has a conscience (after all, sociopaths are real), but most people do. and i think eventually, albeit slowly, it affects us.

    in the end i think forgiveness eats the most at our pride, and THAT is a fight worth having.

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