Giving Up On Getting Justice
5 Steps to Forgiveness v. Pain, Shame, Blame
Imagine your personal path to forgiveness was to be taken to court. Your 5 step process would look like this:
1) Desire to open up (I want to prosecute)
· Desire to change & to let it go
· Allow yourself to be transparent to others & drop the mask.
· When you first open Pandora’s box with all the garbage inside, you’re terrified someone else will now see it. But you will/can see it through God’s eyes of love, not condemnation.
2) Admit something happened & examine it
· This is not about forgetting, it is about forgiving
· Get in touch with the consequences of the act. Many times worse but most times longer lasting than the act itself
3) Tell God what happened (The court proceedings)
· You need to feel heard, validated, and safe
· Ask for His help to see what happened, but equally as important, what is it about your life now this is different because of the consequences of the act. Understand that there is BOTH the offense and offender(s).
· Write a letter to everyone who offended you (or you offended) to get into the detail of what happened and what were the results / consequences of those acts. You don’t have to send them, and in fact, in most cases you should not.
4) Forgive the offender(s) AND the offense(s), for your own benefit (Found guilty but leave the sentencing to God – truly forgive the offender AND the offense)
· Try to understand them and their situation – where they offended, abused or abandoned. Try to understand better why they are/were like they are/were – not to excuse the offense but to offer a reason and path to forgiveness. Have you ever done or said anything that you regretted?
· Go vertical w/ God – trust God more than hold on to my right to be hurt
· Then pray with direction to the offense / offender that you DO forgive them fully. Say out loud that release this and you refuse to carry this burden a moment longer!
· NOTE: If you don’t get this right, you will move toward your offender in veiled bitterness, judgment, and spirit of retribution. If you say, “I’m not going to forgive until he repents,” you will end up in resentment.
5) Share the story – all of it – with others and go on notice to others of your change (Tell the press so others know so it will stick and stop the tendency for a retrial over and over again)
· You may have to start with a closer group at first before “going public” of the offense and forgiveness
· This commits you to keep the healing process going and getting out of isolation with the pain
· Now work on what false beliefs (usually held in the consequences of the act) you have had all this time as a result of holding on the pain as long as you have.