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Del Morrill, M.S. C.C.H


A Center for Counseling & Hypnosis
Tacoma, Washington, USA
(253) 752-1506

Just What is Forgiveness?

Jack Gilles

           These words, spoken by Jesus on the cross just before he died have been at the heart of the story of the crucifixion and the resurrection.  But what is 'forgiveness' and what is the relationship to the resurrection?  I think that without these words the resurrection loses its significance.    

            There is a lot of talk about how we should forgive people who have offended us.  Like "cheap grace", the words often spoken "I forgive you" are not coming from the same place Jesus was when he spoke these words.  We often say something like "I forgive you" when in reality we really do not.  We may feel these words will get a situation back to normal, bring a nasty situation to a conclusion, or perhaps we feel the person really didn't mean what they said or did, especially if they had had a different context.  So a situation may become better, or a person feels better with these words, but they are not what Jesus was pointing to with his words.

             None of us have been crucified, but we may have been falsely accused, had friends or even family abandon us, or been left alone to face a situation we should not have had to face.  Resurrection only comes through forgiveness.

             Let me try and ground that in a real situation.  Nothing can be more soul wrenching than a divorce.  Having gone through one I know that the pain can be intense.  But this is not about my divorce, for I was fortunate to have a great human being with whom I went through a great transition, and although it was painful for both, neither of us ever became mean or accusative toward the other.  But I know of situations that were not (that fortunate).  What happens when you are lied to, lied about, deceived, falsely accused and vilified; and those words and accusations are used to try and turn friends and family against you?

             Forgiveness is not about justifying or excusing behavior; it is not saying that what was done is okay (I can rise above this), it is not even feeling pity or sorrow for the other’s brokenness and deceit.

             Forgiveness is first and foremost recognizing that this is about you, not the other person.  It is about God, not the perpetrator.  Your "resurrection" depends upon it.  Forgiveness means you take all that has been done to you and redeem it. You know that your soul is sanctified when you embrace the event, embrace the pain, and embrace the other as your “path”. 

             In the case of a divorce like I spoke about, we can celebrate the divorce, but not simply because it is over. You won, and life has become a new “normal” without surprises and pain.  You celebrate it because you have a purified center, you have a renewed sense of self-worth and you understand how the depths of pain and deceit can be the instruments of greatness for your own spirit.  You give thanks for the love of Being, who has given you a "blessing" in the form of a divorce.

             With the forgiveness the resurrection becomes possible.  The embrace of the cross, which is evil, creates the open tomb.

             So, "Let us forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

            Let us embrace the cross of the life we have been given and participate in the universal resurrection, the Truth of life, now and forever.







Jack Gilles
Personal and community development consultant





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