“Another year has gone by and I am STILL not talking to that person who hurt me long ago. Forgiveness is out of the question. I am deeply hurt. Besides that, I don’t think I heard them ever say I’m sorry or ask forgiveness.” Signed, all of us.
I don’t know your story or your pain, but I have been on this earth long enough to be hurt deeply by people I have loved and trusted. I have been lied to, cheated on, talked about, beat up, abused and falsely accused.
This may come as a surprise to some, but I have also lied, cheated, talked about, beat up, abused and falsely accused others. (Yikes, it is true, how about you?)
Here’s what I have learned after practicing both unforgiveness and forgiveness:
• Forgiveness is a choice
• Forgiveness is easier than unforgiveness
• Forgiveness does not always lead to reconciliation or happily-ever-after
• Forgiveness does NOT mean waiting for the other person to ask for forgiveness
• Unforgiveness is a poison (contamination)
• It is not really my job to punish or vindicate
• Forgiveness is really not about the other person, it’s about what is best for YOU (do yourself a favor and forgive)
Take a step toward forgiveness before another holiday goes by without talking to someone you once loved or cared for. Of course, there are situations where you have been abused and absolutely do not need to have a relationship with the abuser. You can choose to forgive from afar, and then let God deal with the consequences. It makes no difference if you are the victim or the victimizer, do your part and follow your heart. Let yourself off the hook as judge and jury. Feel empowered through forgiveness and freedom.
Our reasons to Not Forgive:
• They don’t deserve to be forgiven.
• I have to punish them for hurting me.
• I feel better.
• I feel vindicated.
• Sleepless nights (more TV/reading time)
• I will never forget, therefore they will suffer…forever.
Plus, we get excuses for:
• Being angry
• Not smiling
• Being miserable
• Not eating
• Shutting people out
• Putting up walls
• Feeling defeated
• Being alone
Feel empowered through forgiveness and freedom.
What you get when you choose to Forgive:
Ask forgiveness, and give forgiveness, without expecting anything in return. It’s the best Christmas present you will get.