Many of us bear emotional baggage that we carry throughout our lives. It’s the type of baggage that can slow us down, throw us off balance, and even threaten our mental well-being, just as carrying too much physical weight can.
Yet, the truth is that many of the burdens we bear are burdens we could put down if we wanted to, instead of endlessly suffering from them on a daily basis.
Specifically, most of us carry two types of baggage. One is the need for forgiveness.
This baggage contains guilt, shame, hopelessness, and sadness. The other is the need to forgive. This baggage is filled with anger, resentment, regret, and turmoil. Both have the power to prevent us from true personal and spiritual growth. Ridding ourselves of these burdens is freeing, and ultimately, life changing, yet neither is easy to put down.
In order to obtain forgiveness, we must be willing to humble ourselves and have the courage to admit wrongdoing. In order to forgive a person who has hurt us, we have to be willing to let go of the past and overlook another person’s wrongdoings. Moreover, the need to forgive and to be forgiven are not only issues with other people. They are also deep needs relating to both God and ourselves. There is not a person on earth who does not need God’s forgiveness.
This is an adaptation of Yael Eckstein’s upcoming book, Generation to Generation.
Yael Eckstein is the president of the International Fellowship of Christian and Jews. As President of The Fellowship, she also holds the rare distinction of being a woman leading one of the world’s largest, religious not-for-profit organizations, having raised $1.8 billion — mostly from Christians — to assist Israel and the Jewish people.
Read more at The Freedom That Comes from Forgiveness