forgiveness....or the lack of it


I seem to be terribly bad @ the whole forgiveness thing.

terribly bad....

I'm not going to kid around about it, and give the impression that i'm the kind of person who just takes a horribly hurtful offense and brushes it off, carrying on with the relationship as normal.

....just not able to do it.

And not that that's a good thing. Because, since I'm not able to forgive easily, I get a lot of anxiety with the person i'm having problems with. For instance, I could get a phone call and my pulse will start racing, I'll have to take deeper breaths, my stomache will churn and I'll even have difficulty thinking. It's a pretty strong and instantaneous response. It's not a whole lot of fun.

I will think about the person, see them, or even hear their name spoken and get the same feeling of anxiousness.

My pastor had a great point last week. That we tend to be offended by people when they disregard us and/or don't see who we are. I can think of so many times I've been offended and when you get right down to it, it's not so much as what the person said or acted like, it's why they did it.

So often I wish that people could see how they've hurt me and just apologize. Whether they agree what they did/didn't do was wrong, just apologize because it's wounded me.

It just doesn't seem to happen.

I'm really having a problem with a family member right now. I don't feel like I can tell the person how I feel because I'm so mad that I think I'll make the situation worse by spitting out the way I feel in a mean way that would involve a few swear words.

And why?

Because they don't understand me. And I ask myself why I care so much. Why can't I just say to myself: Oh well, that person just doesn't get me...that's their problem not mine.

Nope, I want to smack'em up aside of the head, yell in their face and say "how dare you..."

I've lost friendships, am losing friendships and having stress with family members all because I have such a struggle with unforgiveness.

I guess letting go of hurt is a process. I just wish I could push the fastforward button sometimes...


ron st.amant said...

It's definitely more difficult when you are dealing with a family member. So sorry to hear you're having such a hard time.

wiser_now said...

Oh, I can so identify with you...may I share what has helped me? Two things...well, three...

This may seem silly but it was something Ann Landers quoted in her column years ago. It's not theological but somehow it helped me. "Forgiveness is the fragance the violet leaves on the heel of the boot that crushes it."

There is one basis for forgiveness and only one...the sacrifice of Christ. His death on the cross paid for all sin..yours, mine and theirs. I don't have to wait for them to know, care or acknowledge that they hurt me...it's paid for by Jesus. If mine is paid for, and yours is paid for, then so is theirs and how can I hold them to account for something that is already paid?

And, of course, Jesus told that story of the guy who owed millions of dollars to the king and the king forgave his debt, then he went out and beat up a guy who owed him a dollar and threw him in debtor's prison. The king's response was to turn the first guy over to the tormentors until he would pay off his entire debt to the king. I don't know what it's like for you, but when I am wrestling with forgiving I am the one in torment...not the one I'm needing to forgive.

This doesn't mean that forgiveness means I allow them access to hurt me over and over again. Nor does it mean that the hurt is gone, it diminishes as I keep remembering it's paid for by the Lord. I don't think there is really anything that they could do that would undo my hurt anyway.

It's not easy but I am working on just simply walking in a state of willingness to forgive in my heart...before I've been offended...because that's where the Lord walks and I want to walk with Him.