If you’ve followed Good News! for long you already know how much I love words and how much they have taught me. For example, the word forgive is one we’ve all heard all our lives. We know what it means, but that meaning is intensified when we look at the word closer.
Our English word forgive is made out of two words, the preposition for and the verb to give. We all know that the verb to give means “to deliver up or yield without payment.” But few of us realize that for means “through and through” or “thoroughly.” So forgive means to thoroughly deliver up without payment.” And what is it we need to give up without expecting anything in return? We give up any bad feelings, the desire for retribution, and any inclining we may have harbored that the offending party suffers for what they have done to us.
Most of think that forgiveness is something that blesses the other person, but as Elder Orson F. Whitney said, “We are required to forgive all men, for our own sakes, since hatred retards spiritual growth.”
When we refuse to forgive it is like drinking poison in hopes of hurting the other person. But it never hurts anyone but us! Forgiving brings peace, love, and the spirit into our lives!