The first thing to remember about forgiveness is that it benefits the one who forgives much more than the one who is forgiven,and that forgiving is a conscious act of will instead of a feeling. Everyone has been wronged in some way by somebody. Sometimes the person who has inflicted the offense has done so on purpose, and sometimes it is done unaware with nomalice intended; either way it still hurts.
Please note here that every time the offense is brought to mind, the offender is given power over your thoughts and feelings. They can make you feel sad, or angry, even when they are not present. This can go on for years if you let it.
Corrie Ten Boom, a woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said, "Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you." The past cannot be undone, but in choosing to forgive, you are taking control of your future. Instead of re-playing the offense again and again in your mind, delete the re-play and replace it with, “Everything is forgiven.” For some time the remembrance may still be painful, but slowly, your choice to prefer forgiveness will make it less painful each time.
Sometimes while performing your duties in the military, you might be forced to take actions that you otherwise would not choose to do. You might blame yourself for events that are beyond your control. War zone stress is magnified when you do not put these events into perspective.
Oftentimes we make choices that are not in our best interest.Our own actions may harm our loved ones and even ourselves. Sometimes you avoid saying, “I’m sorry” because you feel what you’ve done is so awful that I’m sorry doesn’t cut it. This may lead to hurtful situations and then the most important person to forgive is you. By forgiving yourself, you are able to reach out to others and forgive them also.
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