Self-forgiveness is been outshined by other research work on other issues, such as interpersonal forgiveness, and as a result, it has not received enough attention like other works about forgiveness. It is a belief that the lack of enough research on the topic has brought about by the overlooking and little knowledge about self-forgiveness. Another reason is that a lot of people do not know the importance of self-forgiveness or simply lack ofinterest. This work intended to arouse interest in the topic, by giving more information so as to facilitate more research. The significance of this model does not only lie on the pragmatic support it receives, but its capability in helping further research about self-forgiveness.
In that it should be emphasised that in most cases, the level to which one goes to beg for forgiveness, openly shows how the person also forgives those who have offended them. Seeking forgiveness from persons one has offended or from God has an impact on the way one deals with those who offend them personally. As the person, will also be able to forgive others just like the way he himself is being forgiven. A person may be indirectly influenced to beg for forgiveness by, the situation that they are currently undergoing because of the offence they committed or, the ruthlessness of their transgression. At times, it is guilt that directly drives one to seek for forgiveness. That is proof enough that before one seeks forgiveness from another person.One must first see that whatever the person did was wrong accept it, forgive himself, then after that go and seek forgiveness from whoever they had offended.
Apologies and many other efforts to reconcile with the offended person at times are just to ease the offender’s guilt over the offence.An apology is a product of self-examination;self-conviction which then leads a person to seek for forgiveness, after weighing whether one is guilt or not guilty (Dillon 2001). People who forgave themselves stood a higher chance of being forgiven by the people they hadoffended. Those who could not forgive themselves were not forgiven either, by the persons they had offended.In that aspect, the relationship between, interpersonal forgiveness and forgiveness by the offender should be looked into deeper(Dillon 2001). The role of the higher power cannot be ignored as it is a perception that it is more associated with interpersonal forgiveness.
The connection betweenself-forgiveness and the severity of the offence is one of the strongest relationships in the context of forgiveness(Dillon 2001). The more cruel the offence is, the less the forgiveness. The cruelty of the offence, in respect to the repercussions, may also tell the level of the offender’sself-forgiveness(Dillon 2001). Even, thoughself-forgiveness involves accepting that the offence affects another person, it has its positive side which is, it gives the offender a chance to make amends with the offended. Offenders who forgive themselves, most of the time gets positive results than the offenders who do not forgive themselves(Dillon 2001).
This representation does not give conclusive answers onself-forgiveness.As there are some other issues that can help in achieving self-forgiveness, such as the level of the relationship, and personality,however, in respect to the research on interpersonal forgiveness, it is that these factors are very much related to forgiveness than the issues tackled here(Dillon 2001). There are also no enough facts to support the connections of the variables(Dillon 2001).
Apart from the various limitations of the research, the representation has brought out various hurdles that can be looked into for the benefit of future research. The major one is because that it educates people on the importance of self-forgiveness, which is as a major variable. There has been no mechanism put in place to help in the implementation of forgiveness. Even, thoughquite a number has been successful in promoting interpersonal forgiveness(Dillon 2001). Self-forgivenessneeds some attention because, not able to forgive oneself leads to lack self-esteem, depressions, and hostility. Looking at the effects of not able to forgive oneself, one is left to wonder why nothing is being done to solve the issue. In order to solve the issue of not being able to forgive one self and its effects, resources that can be relied on to measure self-forgiveness, which unfortunately, are not there.
One evening, I was in the office finishing some Parish work when this woman came into the office crying, I had to put away whatI was doing,being the church pastor I had to find out what had happened to the woman to make her cry like that.
She sat down, and started to narrate to me how her husband had refused to forgive her. This is her story. She has been married for the last 20 years, blessed with two children, a son called Timothy, and a daughter called Taisha. The business was entrusted to the woman, as the husband was working with the government agencies,and could not find much time to be in the shop although, he worked their occasionally when he was off duty.
Without the husband’s knowledge, she would take the money from the shop, and use it on things that were not important, every now and then the husband had to look for money elsewhere to keep the business afloat this habit continued until he came to know what was happening. From that day, her husband has changed he no longer eat in the house and doesn’t talk even to her.She claimed that she had tried talking to the husband, but he had refused to listen to her explanations.
After her long story, I told her to go and apologise to her husband. She told me she had tried to explain to her husband, and he had refused to hear her out. I advised her to go and seek forgiveness from the husband, admit that she was wrong, rather than going to give excuses. After a few hours of talking to her,she managed to see her mistake, and forgave herself. One week later she came to my office with the husband to tell me that they were now back in speaking terms.
Dillon, R.S. (2001). Self–forgiveness and self–respect. Ethics, 112, 53–83
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