Friday, March 20, 2009

Forget the Pain

We’ve been talking about tools or strategies to rid our lives of unnecessary pain. So far we’ve talked about things like music and humor and affirmative thinking. But some of the most powerful tools at our disposal are gospel principles. For example, the principle of forgiveness is absolutely liberating when we learn to use it on a daily basis.

The Greek word used in the New Testament for forgive, is aphiemi which means “to send forth, yield up, to expire. “ Another definition is “To let go, let alone.” When we forgive, obviously we are yielding up thoughts of the offense or situation that we feel shouldn’t have happened, but we are also yielding up the hurt we have been holding onto because of the situation. Every time we think or tell our story of the offense we re-inflict ourselves with pain and usually the pain gets worse with every telling.

The adversary deludes us into thinking that somehow we deserve to cling to our negative story. Somehow we think vengeance will come from holding on to the unjust situation. But clinging to the injustice and refusing to forgive never hurts the other person. They don’t feel the pain. We are the only one that is in pain and we are doing it to ourselves.

The Savior counseled us, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt 6:14-15). Forgiving is one of the best ways to free ourselves from the pain caused by negative storytelling. So forgive. Forget. And be free.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This so true. Being able to truly forgive really does help us more than anything we can do. We can't just say it, we have to work to truly mean it and feel it. Sometimes we have to forgive over and over again before we can be free of the rancor we may feel in our heart. My cousin once gave a talk about the negative feelings that creep into our hearts as we try to forgive and compared it to weeding our garden. As those feelings(weeds) pop up, we have to deal with them immediately and stay commited to forgiving. In time, the peaceful feeling of forgiveness does come over us and we can continue our lives more close to the spirit and free ourselves of the burden of standing in judgement of someone else. It is a very big job sometimes, but I believe it is also a very great gift. It leaves us free to use all our energy and resources on the truly important things in our lives.
Cathie Totten

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Cathie, Amen!

Wendi said...

Thankfully, I've been relatively good at being able to forgive others in my life. However, I haven't been very good at forgiving myself. And now I'm getting better at that. Yay!! Oh, and I love the picture of the cat with the big eyes. So cute! :)

Sorry I didn't comment earlier. Somehow I didn't realize that you had posted until now.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, It is a great gift to be a forgiving person!

cbracken said...

This line is a truth I am so grateful to see in print! "Every time we think or tell our story of the offense we re-inflict ourselves with pain and usually the pain gets worse with every telling."

Let me stop the re-telling of my own, and help others stop their re-telling...and be free! Hooray!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Cbracken, I'm glad you agree. It is amazing how simple it is to free ourselves from unnecessary pain and yet some people go through life clinging to it! Thanks for commenting!