Imagine standing in a room packed with very religious folks and calmly telling them forgiveness is overrated. They would all look at you like an insane dude I promise.
The negative vibes would be felt even more from the Christians in the crowd. In Christianity, forgiveness is seen as one of the strongest foundations of the faith. You are supposed to turn the other cheek. Heck, you are supposed to forgive someone 70×70 times.
In other words, saying that forgiveness is overrated beyond comprehension. You can imagine the sort of world we live in if everybody held a grudge and decided not to forgive.
There would be atrocities committed everyday single day in the name of revenge, right? Probably.
So why would anyone claim, with a straight face, that forgiveness is overrated?
The level of expectations
Most often than not, especially in our relationships, we demand forgiveness with the knowledge that we deserve it because we were humble enough to ask for it. We get angry or at the least disappointed if we are refused it.
Take this scenario, for instance: man cheats on his girlfriend. He is caught and because he doesn’t want to lose her, he begs for forgiveness. At that point, he is willing to do anything to hear her say all is forgiven.
But most times, lost in the drama of forgiveness is what happens after the words, ‘I have forgiven you’ have been uttered.
What is the guarantee that the dude would not cheat again?
Yeah right, he has done it once and he is likely to repeat it again. Trust me when I tell you that he would dedicate countless hours thinking how not to get caught next time.
As for the girl, if she is not suffering from self-esteem issues, she isn’t likely to forget. She might have forgiven in words, but in thoughts, she is still seriously hurt.
Which brings us nicely to…
Healing and remorse
It is the healing process that makes it all too clear that forgiveness is overrated. Healing here refers to the time it takes to truly get over the hurt. Healing depends mostly on variables like, the personality of the person hurt and how deep the cut was.
Some people heal fast and move on. Some heal slowly and others never heal. For the third group, they carry the hurt in them like a festering wound that had defied the best treatments.
What can really help the healing process is the level of remorse shown by the perp.
In the example of the cheat above, if the dude continues to exhibit all the signs of a cheating partner, the girl would never heal. Her resentment would even be more intense as she’d feel like one of the victims of a scam artist.
So for her to heal and for the relationship to go back to what it was, the man must
- Quit giving her reasons to be suspicious
- Act in ways that show he is really sorry
- Not strut around like a proud peacock after being forgiven
Basically, he must realize that the second chance he was given is probably the last chance. So asking for forgiveness is just the first step in repairing a broken relationship.
The scars that define us
In the best of cases, no matter how hard you worked to move on after being hurt, there would still be scars left behind. These are there to constantly remind you of what your partner is capable of.
There is a school of thought that believes the presence of scars is a clear indication the forgiveness wasn’t sincere. To that group, real forgiveness means no lingering scars or thoughts to remind us about happened. The slate must be wiped clean.
You shouldn’t have any problems with the scars. In one respect, they serve to remind you of your imperfections as a human being. And for better or for worse, these scars would define your character moving forward.
Do you make future decisions based on those scars? Well, as they say, experience is the best teacher. The scars are your best teachers as you move on in life.
Restitution is really important
Restitution is one of the most overlooked aspects of forgiveness. And to a large extent, it is the most important aspect if all parties have to move on.
You just don’t ask for forgiveness and simply move on after being forgiven. You must find ways to be actively involved in the healing process.
As a cheating boyfriend, for instance, you can start by calling up your side chick right in front of your main chick and calling the relationship off.
Ask the side chick to forgive you too. It doesn’t matter if she does though. Your problem is the girl right in front of you.
Restitution can be in any form. But its basic ingredient is honesty and sincerity of action. Of course, you can fake it. But the most important thing is simply this, you are clearly making amends.
Of course, if you are strong on forgiveness, nothing or anybody would convince you that forgiveness is overrated. However your feelings, take note that expecting to be forgiven because you asked for it is not a right. It is a privilege and whoever is hurt has the right to refuse it.
What do you think? Have you ever doubted the sincerity of people asking for your forgiveness? How do you deal with it?