Why is forgiving so hard?
We can’t let them off the hook…to do so is to let them get away with it. Somehow this concept of forgiveness - evening the scales - doesn’t quite connect with me and at times, keeps me from wanting to forgive since it is not right to let them off the hook for what they did.
Misunderstanding About Forgiveness
That pain that was caused is real and you have EVERY right to hang on to that backpack of pain, shame, and blame. I won't take it from you. But how is that working out for you?
Freedom in Forgiving
Definition: Forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve it. NOTE: Regardless of whether they actually deserve it!
But many of us would rather fight to stay in pain -- than surrender to be healed. But forgiving, letting God have it, and surrendering it can provide peace…..and freedom. So we hang on with this fight. Defeating the wrong-doer is our currency. We MUST prove that we were right and they were wrong! We put on our mask that all is good while we really know inside that anger, resentment, need for a payback to “make this right” is chewing away at us.
You were a victim. But… - Victims are powerless. - Victims have no control over their lives. - Victims are at the mercy of others. They are passengers in the game of life. - Victims can only react. - Victims are prisoners. - A victim has an excuse. A victim can excuse just about any kind of behavior. You were a victim. You don't have to be a victim now.
Wound of Unforgiveness
And how does this unforgiveness affect us?
We build an emotional wall around us under the pretense that we are protecting ourselves from more harm only to discover that this very same wall keeps us trapped in our own ugly world reflecting how damaged we are. We feel as though the world and all of those around us have their act together and it is only us who are so messed up.
This emotional wall leads to either a
1) cycle of quiet despair or
We don’t fake depression & bitterness…we fake being okay.
Unforgiveness is like 2nd hand smoke. We don’t think that it hurts those around us but it does.
Much like any wound that goes unhealed, an infection can set in and cause a new set of problems.
Each time we are hurt by someone or we hurt another, it causes a wound. A wound of pain, shame, and blame that affects and infects us with anger, depression, relationship problems, spiritual separation, and even at times substance abuse. Sometimes, we go from being abused to being the abuser.
When we’ve been hurt by someone, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. The fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot fully love when we feel fear.
What happens with that wound of unforgiveness?
Those closest to you pay the most
You are uber-sensitive to even falsely perceived slights
You spend your days attempting to prove you’re enough instead of simply living with nothing to prove
While we hold on to unforgiveness, we can’t see what it is doing to us.
Are you that person, carrying around a wound? Although we may think that we are hiding our stories, the ripple effects of our wounds - of our state of unforgiveness - can be seen in so much of our lives, especially in our relationships.
If you have ever felt that way, you are not alone. Without forgiveness, the wound never heals. It festers and continues to do us harm.
These wounds are painful but the wound of unforgiveness can inflict even greater pain, on those around us as well as ourselves.