Why Should I Forgive? (2)

As I mentioned in the previous post,I speak with people struggling with forgiveness and I’ve come across three main challenges that they usually undergo. These challenges amongst others are the biggest reasons why people don’t forgive and I believe if you’ll overcome these three challenges, you will find it pretty easy to exercise forgiveness. 

A sense of justification: Most offended people feel justified to feel bad and harbour bad or ill-will towards the offender. This sense of justification removes any feeling of wrong doing, and in more severe cases, gives the offended individual a feeling of righteous indignation that tells them that the feeling they carry is not just permitted, but necessary.

Offender’s lack of remorse:  A lot of people don’t see why they should forgive, especially when the offender is not sorry for their actions or does not even know they have offended them. The thought of forgiving at this point feels like being punished for being wronged. It feels like you are the one doing everything, the offender ought to do something, if nothing else, bring sympathy and a heartfelt apology to the table.

You just don’t know how: The most frustrating part of forgiving is when you really wish you could forgive but you don’t know how. A lot of people feel forgiving is as easy as saying “I forgive you” so they get rather frustrated when after they have said it a couple of times, they still feel  the volcano of emotion and pain they felt before they said “I forgive you”.

Regardless of how justified being offended makes you feel, you will still be the one to suffer the poisonous effect of the unforgiveness you harbour (see the last post “why should I forgive”).  As Ann Landers often said, “hate is like an acid, it damages the vessel in which it is stored, and destroys the vessel on which it is poured”. So you see that it is quite better to close your eyes to the pain and just forgive.

Even though the act of forgiving seems to be hard and elusive, I have a few simple steps that will make it easier.

Pray about it: If you ever have need for supernatural help, this is one place I think you do.  It is so difficult when you have to act different from how you feel. Imagine then trying to feel different from how you truly feel. Ask God to help you.

Remember the offender is not being hurt by your anger, you are: We just wish the other person could feel the heat and acid in our heart. Well news flash, they don’t. You are the only one who feels the heat, and by extension, maybe the loved ones who have to put up with your crappy attitude

Look for the good: As hard as it is to believe, everything that happens to us has some good that it does to us. If you have the right perspective, you will see it. Even though evil may have been perpetuated against you, the lessons you learn from the experience would never be taken from you.

Stop reliving the experience: Every time you think about the event or every time you tell the story you are reliving it and prolonging the hurt.  Kill the thought every time it comes and when someone asks about it, tell them “it’s in the past”.

Do the unexpected: The best revenge for an offence is to act as if it didn't happen. The offender who expects you to be down and upset would feel disappointment when you are cheery and fine and even worse when you are pleasant to them.

Remember you are not innocent: Everyone gets offended and everyone offends too. There is someone out there that you may have offended who needs to forgive you too. As you extend forgiveness to your offenders, you can expect forgiveness from those you have offended.

We have a saying, that “the person who is holding someone down on the floor is also holding himself”. You can’t move ahead in life if you make a habit of spending time on the floor holding grudges. Let go so you can fly.   

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a Nigerian born and based minister, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach. His keen and unique perspective to life issues makes him a refreshing voice to listen to. He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of House on the Rock - Word House and sits on the board of a number of companies.


  1. Nicee one!Its indeed very useful to me right now.Thank you and more grace

  2. I live with my younger sister. I was intoduced to a guy by a friend last year and we started going out. Along the way, I introduced my sister to him early this feb only for him to switch to her without apology, remouse or concern of how I feel. Sincerely I have forgiven him and want to move on because I have decided to but I feel angry when he speaks with her and she sometimes go visit him. She is only doing that because she is getting some favour from him according to her but its not helping me. I spoke with her about it but it did not bring any good result. What do I do? I want to move on. She keeps bringing him up with their conversation and there is no way she will go out without telling me where she is going to. PLEASE HELP ASAP.

    1. Hey! I'm sorry about how things went down between you and your ex, and your sister. First and foremost, you have to realise as much as it hurts, you are responsible for sorting out your emotions. If your sister and your ex don't care much about your feelings, they probably won't do anything to help your situation, especially if your sister is in it for the financial gain (like you said). It's easier when you don't have to see your offender, but for you it's different, you have to share a roof with yours. That's rough but still do-able. You'll have to practice the forgiving steps everyday, So have a sit down with yourself, and let your heart know its over with your ex and you have to work at forgiving and forgetting him. Give yourself time to heal, it may hurt like crazy now, but trust me in a few months it'll be just a memory. So wait it out. Also remember that the way you respond to it is more important than the whole affair, decide to be cool even when you feel like screaming. You have to insist she ends her commentary of their dates, and if she won't, walk away when she starts. I believe you'll begin to feel better about it in no time.

  3. To stop thinking or talking about a hurtful event is kind of a hard thing to do, but thanks for the insight.I pray for God's grace to help forget the hurt. thanks and God bless

  4. Hmmmmmmmmm. I am thinking more about the people I have hurt, people I might never know. As I pray to keep forgiving others I pray God will give them the strength to do the same. Thank you sir.