It doesn't matter who begins the process—the one who needs to ask forgiveness or the one who needs to give it. Forgiveness is always the healthy way to go. When we choose not to forgive, we end up holding on to what causes us pain. We become weighed down by negative emotions that hinder our emotional and spiritual growth.
Consider the physical body: When food we've eaten is "held" too long and not removed in due time, it turns toxic. It becomes a poison that can create sickness and disease and eventually kill us.
Similarly, the emotions that we attach to an offense can become toxic. If we hold on to them, they can sicken us and eventually kill us. Forgiveness is the only way to remove the poison—and the sooner, the better.
We must forgive. Yes, it can be difficult. Our old self is still active. Our anger, pain and sense of betrayal cry out to be fed.
But if we look to Jesus as our example and allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds day by day, we can conquer the unforgiveness factor in our lives. I know. We can be free at last.
Bernice A. King is the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
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