When I suggested we should not ask for forgiveness for something we’ve said or done, I did not imply we should not have remorse. Awareness is the first step to a healthy relationship – awareness of the words and actions that are echoed to those around us. Asking for forgiveness places the burden of the future of our relationship squarely on the offended party. This is not their issue!
Forgiveness is a gift. It is a person saying, “I will bear the payment of an offense myself.” My children are the best evidence of how true forgiveness works. My divorce caused much pain, pain that hurt and disconnected our relationship. As the adult, I was responsible for that pain. I did not ask their forgiveness – I did not deserve it and it was not their issue to restore our relationship. As the offender, I have told them, “I’m sorry for the pain I caused in your life. You did not deserve the circumstances you were placed in. And I’m very sorry for my part in that hurt.”
My children, of their own volition, gave me the gift of forgiveness. Their acceptance and love and desire for a healthy, close personal relationship with me, is the greatest gift forgiveness can demonstrate.
Do not ask for a gift. Be aware – acknowledge – move forward in love and kindness. Any gift of forgiveness will more valuable than a display of forced obligation. Thank you, my sons, for your gift of forgiveness.
What forgiveness means to the forgiver . . . Never Ask For Forgiveness Again Part III is next!