Thursday, July 12, 2012

finding your freedom in forgiveness...

This blog is especially hard for me to write. Why? Because it's something that I still struggle with. As a Christian, I believe in forgiveness. It's hard but God never promised us that it would be easy to do the right thing. When you invest in a relationship/friendship/job or whatever it may be, and you get burned, it's hard to move past. The longer you hold on to that resentment, the more hatred builds in your heart. Whenever I think about some of the people whose friendship I valued who have betrayed me, I still get worked up. A simple mention of their name can make me physically ill. If you're honest with yourself, you probably can name at least one person who makes you feel this way. When I think about some of my friendships that have gone south, I honestly can't even remember where some of them went wrong. Others are more recent and the wounds are still raw and painful to think about. I think forgiveness takes time and also acceptance that we probably made mistakes along to way as well. I know that I have been petty and did things that didn't always represent the person that I would like to be. I also know that sometimes I have allowed people to walk all over me and that was my fault. Going back to my previous post about setting boundaries, I taught people that it was acceptable to treat me poorly. So they did.

The question is, what can we do about it? How can we forgive these people and move on with our lives and be unaffected by them? I'm still a work in progress and I'm still trying to figure this out. Whenever I need inspiration or an answer lately, I've been less likely to look to friends for advice and more likely to look to the Bible. Let's face it, our friends love us and they are going to tell us we are perfect and it's always the other persons fault. If you want the absolute TRUTH though, you have got to get it from the WORD OF GOD. Period. So here is what God says about forgiveness:

Colossians 3:13 
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

To me, that is very powerful. Think of all the things you have done in your life, you know, the things you wouldn't ever want anyone to find out about. The things that make you embarrassed to even think about. We've all been there. We've all made mistakes. When we hold on to the things others have done to us, we are giving them the power. The power to control our feelings and emotions. You think you're really getting them good by holding on to this resentment but you're really making yourself a prisoner. In the end, it's not really worth it. I have a hard time making the first move towards forgiveness but it is absolutely essential. I'm humbled every day as I have found myself praying for the people who have hurt me instead of praying that they would "get what they deserved"....It's not easy and I don't automatically get fuzzy feelings about these people when I encounter them, but it is important for my spiritual and mental health. 

Here are some suggestions that may help you if you're struggling with this. First, seek God's WORD. Look up Bible verses that talk about forgiveness. You will be humbled. Trust me. I know this sounds kinda crazy but pray for them. Pray that they will be touched by God in a way that they are changed for the better. This is difficult to do and may seem impossible to you but it will help, promise. Another thing (and something I'm working on this week) is write a letter to someone who has really hurt you. Explain in detail what they did and why it hurt you. You'll probably get angry again, reliving the memories, and you may even find yourself crying. When you're done, tear it up, burn it, GET RID OF IT. I know it sounds weird but it actually does help. I've done it before and I'm going to keep doing it. The people in my life that are no longer in it were toxic for me so I see no need for reconciliation. I do want to move on with my life though and get rid of the bitterness I've clung to. 

Forgiveness doesn't mean that you allow yourself to be someone's door mat again. If anything, this will be the closure that you need FOR YOURSELF. It will also be a learning experience about being selective of the people that you want in your life. Remember, hurt people, hurt people. A lot of times it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own unhappiness. Be willing to admit your faults though and be humble enough to ask for forgiveness. 

I'd love to hear your comments on how you have forgiven people who have hurt you. As I said, I'm a work in progress and I can always use some help along the way :)



  1. I've never even thought about writing a letter to the people that hurt you and rip it up! Brilliant. Gonna do it. Maybe tonight. Haha. Love you!

  2. Forgive: FOR God so loved. GIVE: He gave His only SON and continues to give forgiveness.
    We reach right into the heart of God when we forgive as He forgives us.
    My heart is full and tears close to the top when I read your blogs. You are loved sweetpea, by God and by us.

  3. I am so very proud of you, beautiful :-) Our God is amazing, is He not? Look at where you have been and where you are now. To God be the glory, great things He has done in YOU! You are a walking testimony of His power to change and heal. I am enjoying your blog and can't wait to read more. I am going to include a link to yours on mine, if that is ok with you. Love you, sweet girl! xo
    Mel-Mel ;-)