Is it easier to forgive someone or to ask for forgiveness?
Who wouldn’t want to be able to have that slight upper hand and decide whether to forgive or not? In a snappy thought, to be the one to forgive would be lot easier. Someone will plead to you and would try to do what he can just to pacify your grudge and eventually to calm down the noise that keeps on troubling his conscience. Everything just seems to depend on your decision and the whole thing is under your control. But at a keener glance, forgiving someone is not as easy as passing or giving a tangible thing. To say you already forgive him doesn’t mean that bitterness would not be there anymore and that sticking resentment would be gone. Anyhow, genuine forgiveness is also a structure that cannot be built overnight.
Forgiveness doesn’t immediately mean forgetting. It’s not amnesia. You will still remember the pain. If someone stabbed you, you may forgive them but every time you look at the wound, you will again recall the same feeling. To brush this sticky scar away from your being is a hard thing to do. You’ll be hurt in the process.
Also, it takes a lot of moral muscle to forgive especially if you are really fighting the natural urge to revenge. It is actually a mental and emotional distress to resist entertaining the thought that you also want to make them feel the hurt they had caused you. In some instance, they will live into your mind rent free and may cultivate your hatred more.
Now would it be easier to forgive? It would be better to delve deeper because the power that you may think you have is not totally yours. The fact is maybe it’s them who have the power over you.
So can we consider that asking forgiveness is far easier? Definitely not. It’s another thing that is as difficult as the other side of the coin.
In asking for forgiveness, forgetting is also an essential part. And it is also about forgetting and swallowing your pride. Being able to have the courage to ask forgiveness means that you are amenable that you did something wrong. It means conquering your ego and trying to consider more important things than it. Asking for forgiveness is simply awakening your humble side.
Sincerity is an essential part in asking for forgiveness because without it the process would be futile. This important thing enables a person who did something wrong to really feel the consequences of his acts. Guilt would make this process more difficult. His conscience would be terribly disturbed and this would lead him to act . . . to apologize.
However, sincere request for forgiveness is not only limited to saying “I’m sorry.” It includes the appropriate action to change and learn from the mistake. Trying to solve the consequences that had arisen from the fault that has been done would be an indication to show that you are working to be worthy of such forgiveness. After all, words without actions seem to be weak evidences.
Hence, to query if which is easier between asking and granting forgiveness is like asking if what comes first between egg and chicken. Each individual has different answer. Actually, it depends on the situation. But what important is the sincerity, acceptance and the pureness of intention.
In the end, we are all put into the shoes of the one giving forgiveness and the one asking for it. That’s why God said,
“Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely”—Colossians 3:13.
Original Title: Life Slings and Arrows