9 Habits – being forgiving

Jill Rowe, our Ethos and Formation Director, explains how unforgiveness can be exhausting. Forgiveness lifts the burden and sets us free


Being unforgiving is exhausting!

You know how tired you feel when you’ve had to carry a load of heavy bags. It’s exhausting!

To put it simply that is exactly what it is like when we carry unforgiveness in our lives. It too is exhausting. And it too is like lugging a heavy weight around each day.

Unforgiveness happens all too easily.

Someone hurts us and we feel wounded by them and before we know it, we’ve turned that woundedness into a grudge and that grudge starts to fester in us. It has a toxicity.

And then the grudge becomes the driver of our behaviour and what we want is to seek revenge or some opportunity to pay back, like for like – an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth!

So, we belittle, or we give ‘them’ the silent treatment. We badmouth. We may even pull others into our plan for revenge. And that plan is specifically designed to hurt those who have caused us pain.

And we believe that what we are doing is justified. After all, ‘they’ deserve what they get!


But actually, really, honestly, it is this desire for revenge, this lack of forgiveness that is just causing more hurt and pain in us.

It is us who are revisiting our wound over and over and over again.

And the longer this goes on the more bitter and resentful we become.

So yes. Unforgiveness is exhausting. You can see why. We are literally choosing to carry around with us the heavy weight it brings day after day after day.

But to forgive is to let go.

It is to not allow what has happened to determine who we are or how we are.

It is to not allow our pain and hurt to shape our future.

Once again – to forgive is to let go.

It isn’t to forget. But it is to let go.





To let go.

And when we do, the weight of unforgiveness is lifted and we can be free.