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What is forgiveness for?

Is it for yourself or for the other person? What do you believe about forgiveness and truly letting go of  the anger?


Asked by bjojola at 10:54 AM on Dec. 14, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 23 (16,005 Credits)
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Answers (13)
  • Forgiveness is a choice that we make. Sometimes, I've had to make it numerous times before it actually became a reality. It's for ourselves and it is, in some ways, for the other person, too. Anger and bitterness, though, do more harm to the one who harbors them than they do to the person to whom they are directed. What works for me is to choose every time I think about the incident to forgive it and let it go. One other thing I have learned is that my forgiveness for the person who wronged me does not equate to the relationship being what it was before. You can forgive the person, but sometimes the relationship will never be the same. That can happen only if the other person is willing to admit wrong, ask for your forgiveness, and be willing to work with you to restore the relationship. But you can be free from animosity toward the person, enough so that you can even be friendly just not best buddies.

    Answer by NannyB. at 11:00 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • "Forgiveness" is for both people involved. If you believe in forgiveness, I think it takes both people to work through the anger and get to a place of peace.

    I don't forgive because I don't judge. If someone makes me upset, I learn from whatever the situation was and go from there. I don't harbor any hate because life is just too short for that.

    Answer by Scuba at 10:57 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • Forgiveness is for both... it is healing you and release the other person.
    Here is an example: I just recently realized I made a few mistakes and hurt someone and so I wrote her a letter ( she lives out of the country) and asked her for her forgiveness. She accepted & it is bringing healing for both of us. She and I seperated as friends but the one thing I chose to do is not hold anything against her and she did the same. What it has done for me personally is bring me to a place of loving her more and in a deeper way. Its only through Christ I was able to come to this place of loving her. I made a choice not to be angry, not to be bitter and I never blamed God for it. Because of that I was able to forgive her and to ask for forgiveness. This is the best thing anyone can do. It enables you to move on & allow the Lord to work out the rest of the details of the reconciliation process, which I believe will happen in His time!

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 11:08 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • It's for BOTH you and the other person. Forgiveness is done for yourself in order to prevent it from wreaking havoc on your own mental well-being. Forgiveness is also one of the foundations for fostering love and compassion for others.

    In the Buddhist view, a balanced person would never even take offense to begin with though. The enemy is often seen as someone to help you learn.

    "In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher."--Dalai Lama

    "It is natural for the immature to harm others. Getting angry with them is like resenting a fire for burning."--Shantideva

    “Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love”--The Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C

    “To understand everything is to forgive everything"-- The Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama

    Answer by pam19 at 11:36 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • Depends on what you are forgiving.....the little everyday things are so we can exist is impossible to be yourself around anyone without somehow offending them, I have that case love and forgiveness MUST go hand in hand or we just would not be able to be around each other.....As for the big things...the things that make it impossible to have any kind of relationship at all....forgiveness is for yourself and has a totally different is letting go of the negative that is eating you up inside and turning you into a person you don't doesn't mean reconciling with the person, necessarily...

    Answer by Anna92464 at 11:21 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • I think forgiveness can be very powerful for both people involved. And honestly, there are very FEW things that I need to forgive others for. We all make mistakes in life...we learn and move on. There is no need for forgiveness. EXCEPT in severe cases. For example: My birth mother abandoned me when I was 6 yrs old. In those 6 years she abused me physically and emotionally. Her abuse has left numerous bruises in my life. It took me YEARS to work through the damage she did to me.
    However, it was only through realizing that I had the power to forgive her for her inability to be the mother she should have been, that I could move on from the pain she caused. The moment i realized I had truly forgiven her, I felt free. I was free of the abuse, the heartache, the pain. All of it disappeared. Do you want her in my life? No. While I would talk with her....I do not allow abusive people in my life.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 11:29 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • Forgiveness has nothing at all to do with the other person. Since they have no way of knowing if it's faked or not, can't feel it or smell it or get hit in the head with it, it's another of our cultures 'agreed upon fictions.' Like the hilarious lie about 'honesty and truth above all things' ha ha. Yeah, whatever.

    Holding on --to beliefs that don't serve our health or happiness, to grudges, to our pet stories of our past injuries, to resentment and trauma-- is the primary source of suffering in our lives. Almost nothing is happening all the time we're suffering over all those things that once were... so we drag the heavy baggage of our lives around, polluting quite neutral moments with genuine horror. Why? Because it's popular? Because it's 'natural'? Because we're used to it, and feel lonely or lost without the drama?

    Forgiveness is the courage it takes to step out of the (familiar, finished) past and into the present.

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:34 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • Forgiveness is about letting go of the hurt and anger. It is not about forgetting what the person did, but letting go of the feelings.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 12:04 PM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • its for you in the end , and dosent mean you can still be around the other person , or event or whatever.

    Answer by letstalk747 at 12:36 PM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • It is for yourself. It is how some people let go of anger and frustration. However, it is not the only way.

    Answer by purpleducky at 11:08 AM on Dec. 14, 2010