Forgiveness can be better than a cleansing quarrel

Chaplain’s CornerPadre Rosinski

Padre Marcin Rosinski

I do not know about you, but forgiveness is not easy for me. It is much easier to sulk, shout in anger or not talk to the other person for a few hours (although for some it is not true, their limit is probably 20 minutes, because somehow they cannot remain silent – then the phase of a cleansing quarrel follows).

Anyway, it’s much easier to get mad straight away, shout out all the faults and shortcomings of the other person than just … forgive. We have many opportunities to forgive others, starting in our own households, with your spouse, parents, children.

Also outside of marriage. When we find out that a friend talks behind our back, when people from work get on our nerves… Not to mention issues from the past …

The sad truth is that when we allow these wounds to remain in us, they grow in our hearts like weeds and build an invisible (at least at first glance) wall between us and God. But also between us and others…

It is often the case that we try to convince ourselves that ‘he does not deserve forgiveness’. Or ‘what she did cannot be forgiven’. And we still hold this resentment.

But to be honest … usually the person toward whom we hold our grudge does not know about it at all or does not care about it at all. The truth is that by holding a grudge, we condemn ourselves to suffering. Because we deny ourselves the freedom that forgiveness gives.

One lady once said: “I know something about it, because one day I had to make a decision to forgive someone who hurt me very much. Everything in me screamed ‘but how, why, I have to forgive, for what reason?’. But I came to a point in my life when I realized that if I did not make that decision, my wounds would keep blocking me.

Because they made me unable to open up to my future husband. They made me distrust people. That I really could not see the Father … Daddy … in my God. They made me unable to love, to really love.

And it is not that when I decided to forgive this person and completely give away my hurt to God, I forgot everything that this person did. Unfortunately, I still remember. It still hurts sometimes. But I am free because I do not think about how poor and miserable I am. My wounds do not block me from dealing with others. I am not afraid to love, because I know that my life is not in my hands, but in the hands of God, it is not me who steers it, but He. First of all, my wounds no longer decide about my life and future decisions.

And when I think about all that God in turn has forgiven me. About all my evil thoughts, about pride, lies, judgment, about words that I have spoken that have hurt others; about my egoism, etc…

That’s all that my good God has just forgiven me so far … and that he forgives me every day when I turn to him; that I can start anew with a clean sheet every day because He loves me unconditionally. When I think about it, I wonder – what right do I have to not forgive?

When my husband annoys me, my first reaction is anger. Often a scream. Even more often, I punish him with my silence, because I know that it will affect him, hurt him most. How cruel.

I feel so horrible when I do something that will sadden him, which silences him. And I would like so badly that he would stop, that he would forget about what I just said, that he would smile, hug me and say ‘everything is OK, baby, it happens’. Phew … what a relief. I’m so grateful to him when that moment comes…

I wish all that exactly. That they feel that they can be wrong, that they can make mistakes. That they can be people like us. Non-perfect. If you and I have received this great gift of forgiveness and freedom freely, let us try to give it generously.

And if, for various reasons, you have not yet decided to accept this gift – do it today. Do not waste valuable hours and days. Freedom is just around the corner. I checked.”

marcin.rosinski@forces.gc.ca