I have participated in a lot of stupid and–if I am being completely honest–willful sinning in my life.
I can’t blame my sins on not knowing any better. I was taught right from wrong. It’s just, occasionally (often) I chose the wrong.
So I make it a point to try to forgive everyone, as quickly as I can. Because I’m counting on being forgiven when I die.
Now, if forgiving is difficult for you, maybe you just don’t understand it. When you forgive someone who has wronged you, you are not saying what the aggressors did was right, or even justified. What you are saying is, “I give the responsibility of judging those who have wronged me to God, who knows so much more than I do. And who can judge perfectly.” Forgiveness is not something you give to someone so his sin will be gone. You don’t have that authority or power. Forgiveness is something you give to yourself, medicine for your own soul, so you can be released from anguish and start to heal.
I like this quote from C.S. Grow. (I agree with it completely.)
“Through His Atonement, He heals not only the transgressor, but He also heals the innocent who suffer because of those transgressions. As the innocent exercise faith in the Savior and in His Atonement and forgive the transgressor, they too can be healed.”
If there is someone who has wronged you and you forgive them it doesn’t mean that they get away with what they did. God will still judge them. But you don’t need to hang onto it any longer. You can live your life STRESS FREE knowing that God will judge (perfectly) if they deserve to get off—or if they deserve to pay a big penalty.
Please note, it doesn’t say, “I will forgive everyone who asks me to forgive them who I think really means it.” And it doesn’t say, “I will forgive everyone who has wronged me in the past and I feel like enough time has gone by.” And it doesn’t say, “it’s okay if you say, ‘I’ll forgive them, but I’ll never forget!'” And it doesn’t say, “since they wrecked my life, I can hold onto this grudge a little longer.” The Lord said YOU ARE REQUIRED TO FORGIVE.