God tells us to love and to forgive those who persecute us. However, forgiveness is not that easy; and the line between forgiving the person and accepting the hurt can be a difficult one to determine.
My daughter recently had some trouble with a friend. When I told her God tells us to forgive, she asked me, “So, it’s OK what she did to me?” Then, I explained to her that forgiving someone does not mean what they did was justifiable. When you forgive, it does not mean you are opening the door to being hurt again.
We aren’t perfect. We can’t easily forget painful memories. Unlike us, God can. His forgiveness wipes our slates clean.
Recently, I began a conversation with a woman about some mutual pain and hardships. She allowed me to get out some of the pain that has plagued me.
Her kindness towards me has been a very big part of my healing. I soon realized that God gives us people in our lives who help promote growth and healing. He knows that forgiveness is not easy for us. Leaning on the gift of loving people can help us move past the hurtful moments we endure.
One of the things I admire most about her is her ability to stand strong on the foundation of truth. She does not allow lies and gossip to tie her down. She protects her children with love and actively moves on, past hurts. Not enabling those who have hurt you, but loving them from afar is something I learned from her.
Not long ago, I blogged about my biological father and how it was hard for me to forgive him. It took years for me to open my heart to him. I realized that we are all make mistakes and we cannot be chained to each others’ problems. My lack of forgiveness wasn’t even affecting him. Forgiveness is a part of our well-being. Being hateful can make us sick on the inside. That was the case for me.
I had to learn to forgive myself for my own mistakes as well. I try so hard to teach my oldest daughter to forgive herself. She constantly gets angry at herself for things she has done wrong. I explain that these small mistakes do not define us and that God wants us to be free of them. We must learn from our mistakes and, like this kind woman, teach others how to forgive.
Unforgiveness can ruin you. It can become an obsession to validate your feelings. Know that God has given us the gift of forgiveness, so that we do not become bitter and angry.
Do you struggle with forgiveness? I would love to hear your own thoughts.