Learn the art of forgiving

2018-01-17 06:02

Is there a limit on action that can be forgiven? Are there mistakes or faults which are just not worth forgiving? Christians have been taught to turn the other cheek.

Is this natural behaviour? When somebody has hurt you, it is difficult to forgive. Naturally the instinct is to retaliate. It takes time. Sometimes your kith and kin are the ones who will find it more difficult to forgive the one who has hurt you.

I am aware of siblings, cousins, children and parents, very closely related people, who are angry at each other to the extent that they are not talking to each other for a long time. For some it is even until death.

My cousin and his daughter have not talked to each other for years. They live in the same house and this tension is unbearable, also to those who stay with them.

Whatever could have happened for you to hate somebody so profoundly?

People have forgiven others for killing their family members. Victims have forgiven those who raped them. Spouses have forgiven spouses for extra-marital affairs and even having children outside marriage.

Some trespasses are grave. At the end, do you know what it is that you will never forgive? The animosity and the tension is not worth it. It may lead to stress, depression, hypertension, diabetes and other chronic ailments. These can shorten your life.

It is good to have family and friends. It is so lonely to have no-one caring about you. As human beings, we are gregarious in nature. There is a saying that no man is an island. It is true that you can be angry with just one member of the family and on good terms with the rest. When you do not speak to your father, sibling or cousin, then you are missing out on a relationship with them. There are orphans who, if they could, would do anything to have a father for just one day. Not talking to each other is like not having these people in your life.

Try to forgive and forget. Life is too short. People will hurt you. Forgive them. For most, it takes two to tango. In most misunderstandings, both parties have contributed. It is not always one person’s fault.

Sometimes after years the people have even forgotten what the cause of the misunderstanding was, or they see that it is so negligible. In other families, the family feud has been going on for years and continues to the next generations. The further it continues, the less it makes sense. Holding grudges will not help us as a community.

We must forgive and forget!

) Express welcomes anyone to contribute to the weekly column. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece (not exceeding 500 words in Sotho, Tswana or English) via email to teboho.­setena@volksblad.com. Writers are welcome to send articles of a spiritual nature.

Adv. Kuni Ditira Social Observer

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