Forgiveness and Humility
by Barry Adkins on December 31, 2011
Forgiveness and humility go hand in hand
Forgiving those who have wronged us is not easy to do, especially when those that have wronged us have not asked for forgiveness. But, forgive we must.
I think if we stand back and take a look around, you will see many people who harbor grudges, for both real and perceived things that have been done to them. Holding this grudge does nothing to help them heal the wounds or get “closure” – whatever that is.
As I watch the news media cover horrible crimes, I see interviews with family and friends full of anger and hate declaring they want “justice” for their loved one. Anger and hate that is completely understandable to be sure. But if that anger and hate does not transform into forgiveness and humility, it can, and will, destroy your life also. So the person that committed that horrible crime has not only destroyed a loved ones life, but he has also destroyed yours. It is so very important to understand this. Don’t allow yourself to become collateral damage!
I believe that the key to being able to forgive is humility, something that our society does not promote as an important personal trait. Society and the media want us to be proud. How often do you hear someone being interviewed on the news say, “I made a mistake, I was wrong” or “I forgive the man that murdered my loved one?”
I would submit that many of our social ills are tied to a lack of humility. We get offended and angry because someone cuts us off on the freeway, or some jerk is rude and disrespectful to us. Next time something happens to you that has you upset, ask yourself, “Am I being prideful here?” I know this may sound harsh, and it’s not meant to be, but, get over yourself already!
My mom used to say, “Forgive and forget.” I submit that there is a big difference between forgiving and forgetting. You can forgive, but that doesn’t mean you forget.
In my case, my eighteen-year-old son, Kevin, died of alcohol poisoning on the day he moved out, on his own. I have long since forgiven those that were at the party with him, and of course, I can forgive my own child. But the hardest person of all to forgive is myself. As his dad, there has to be something I could have done differently to prevent this needless and all too common tragedy. In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of binge drinking, I walked from Arizona to Montana with his ashes in my backpack, speaking at numerous schools along the way. Walking 1400 miles gives a man a lot of time to think. Somewhere on the open road, between Arizona and Montana, I found a way to forgive myself, for “letting my child die.” Forgive I have, forget I won’t.
The most important step you can take toward healing or “closure” is to forgive, even if the other person has not asked for your forgiveness.
With humility, comes the ability to forgive. Who do you need to forgive today?
Something very good will come from this…..