At work, someone had this “bumper sticker” thought at the end of their email signature:

The act of forgiveness takes place in our own mind.  It really has nothing to do with the other person.” — Louise Hay

While there seemed to be some truth to that, to me, it came off as a bit one sided, as if the real benefit of forgiveness goes only to the one doing the forgiving.  Yes, while the responsibility to forgive rests upon the one who’s been hurt, the purpose and focus of forgiving is truly for both the offender and the offended. 

Forgiveness creates a pathway for what was broken to be made whole again.  Forgiveness gives the offender a chance to change and make it right, and it gives the offended a chance to give the offender a safe haven to make it right.  When we truly and completely forgive someone, we drop the offense and invite others to do the same for the offender…and, essentially,  ask everyone else to “drop all charges”.

Thus…

The Completeness of Forgiveness is all about what we do…FOR the other person: that we let go of our grudge towards him, that we embrace him into our heart and our presence, that we do it with our whole heart, genuinely, with no expectation of anything in return, and then invite others to lovingly do the same.

The LDS Lamplighter

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