Forgiveness… a hard but necessary process.
Recently my heart has felt heavy. I’ve allowed lots of hurts to build up and I’ve been carrying around the hurt/anger/frustration.
My 9yr old was struggling with friendships at school and people being mean to her. I found myself saying to her “people can be horrible on purpose or they can say mean things flippantly that hurt, either way we can’t control how they behave towards us we can only make sure our hearts stay soft in the process. We need to forgive and let go”
As the words were leaving my mouth, a handful of people sprung to mind who had recently made me feel the same way. As an adult I have mostly separated my ‘friends ‘ out to be around the ones who love and care for me. I have no time for fake friends. So in theory this forgiveness process should be easier for me right?
No matter what my friends or family do, I know they love me but for me at times that makes it worse. If someone I’m not close to does something hurtful I can put it down to the fact that they aren’t very nice and move on from that relationship. When I know and love the person and know they love me too that hurt cuts deeper and it becomes much less of a surface level issue. It builds onto all of the other little hurts that I haven’t dealt with and becomes an open sore rather than a little cut.
As a Christian, forgiveness is a solid part of my faith, it is a foundational component and Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for me on the cross forgiving the sins of the world, so for me holding onto the situations that came into my head that day seemed selfish and minor in comparison.
Hurt is selfish, even if feeling that way is just. We feel entitlement to be angry, hurt and frustrated and why shouldn’t we? They did that thing to us, we are innocent in the situation. But very quickly if we don’t deal with the hurt it becomes all encompassing and we then begin to react to their action. Our reaction most likely then causes hurt for them and it can very quickly become a downward spiral to bitterness, hate and contempt. The cycle has to be broken.
Forgiveness is the sword that breaks the chain.
Forgiving someone who has hurt you is a gift that they don’t deserve, but that you do. When we hold onto our negative feelings we are the ones who are bound, we live in pain whilst the other person walks free. By choosing forgiveness, we are choosing to cut our tie with that pain and release ourselves from the hurt. Yes we are also releasing them too which can feel unfair especially when you have a huge sense of justice (like me!).
As a Christian when I forgive, I release them into Gods hands so that they can be judged according to their actions. You need to find a way to make your peace with the situation. Carrying around bags of hurt on your shoulders only damages you. You can spend a whole lifetime thinking you are going to throw those bags back at the person who hurt you, but the reality is that even if you manage to throw a handful you are still carrying a sack.
Choose freedom today.