Just as you will make mistakes in your life, so will the people around you. And sometimes their mistakes will affect you. They will do or fail to do things, say or fail to say things. How should you react to other people’s mistakes?
“Forgive and forget” is easier said than done.
What makes forgiving so difficult sometimes is that we tend to blame people mistakes on their character. We think their mistakes mean that they are bad people or they have bad intentions. But most of the time, there are other culprits involved when people make mistakes. Like fear, insecurity, or distraction for example. And most times, mistakes are just the result of faulty reasoning. People think their actions are logical and justified when in fact their actions will have terrible consequences.
And if you think about it, things like fear, insecurity and faulty reasoning can affect us all. You and I are just lucky if we don’t have the wrong kind of thoughts that would lead us to make the mistakes we see other people making. In other words, you could be the one stepping off track. You could be the one making the mistakes and if you’re not, it’s just by luck. Maybe knowing that can make forgiving just a little bit easier.
But even when we do forgive it may be difficult to prevent people’s mistakes from changing us negatively. We want to be safe and to avoid pain. If one person wrongs us, we want to have a way of avoiding that in future. When someone disappoints you in some way, you may decide it’s no use placing your hope in people. A woman betrayed by a man may vow to never trust men again; a boy criticized for doing what he loves may decide he’ll never practice his talents again.
And just like that, we lose hope, trust and love. But by letting people’s mistakes change us like this, we let the mistakes win.
Remember that although some people will wrong you, many others will be a blessing to your life. And if you no longer have hope, trust or love when the right people enter your life, you won’t be able appreciate them and let them change your life for the better.
It may also be tempting to show rage and anger at the people who have wronged you. That will not only make you unhappy, but it will also make it more difficult for the people who wronged you to forgive themselves. You will be hurting yourself and others. It takes much more strength and courage to treat the people who wronged you with kindness.
Peace is power. Don’t let other people’s mistakes reduce you to uncontrollable tempers and corrupting bitterness. Hold on to your peace.
And as always, cheers to life!