How do you overcome treachery and forgive those who have wronged you, when the wounds are deep and raw? A colleague of mine related the following story. A young couple got married at a prestigious country club. Their parents were affluent and the wedding was a reflection of their wealth and influence. When it was time for the groom’s reply, he stood up and began his speech. After he thanked everyone for attending, he said, “you see this man here, he is my best friend and best man. These tickets are for our honeymoon in ( he named an overseas location). My best friend has been sleeping with ( PG version) my wife for ( he said the length of time). He can have the tickets because I am not going”. He then walked out of the reception.
When I heard this story, my first question was, why? Why did he go through with the wedding? Why didn’t he called it off? Why did he do this to his fiancee, her family and friends? To himself, his family and friends, why? The answer was simple, very simple, he wanted REVENGE. He wanted to hurt her they way she had hurt him. He wanted her to suffer, to feel the hurt and pain of betrayal. I know that this is not easy, but those who do not deserve forgiveness needs it the most.
Forgiveness is the decision to be free, not to be held captive and stuck by an event, especially a traumatic one. It is a decision to let go of the hurt and pain and move on with life. Forgiveness does not mean that the perpetrator was right or what they did was acceptable. Forgiveness means I refuse to let this event define me. Adversity causes us to grow beyond our comfort zone. If you take away the circumstances, you take away the lessons learnt. Ricky Smiley said, “not every one you lose, is a lost”. Forgive. “I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions”, says Stephen Covey. These are words to live by.