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915277 tn?1252573113

FORGIVENESS...where do you stand??

Forgiveness...where do you stand on forgiveness, what do you forgive, is there anything that you cannot forgive??? Do we have to forgive everyone in order to get forgiveness ourselves??  I have struggled with this issue for a very long time, and I have even searched on the internet for  "how to" forgive, sort of a step by step instruction guide...everyone talks about forgiveness, but, no one really tells you how to do it...any thoughts???
40 Responses
535822 tn?1443976780
I have a hard time forgiving ill treatment to children/animals .the elderly and anyone who cant stand up for them selves..but on the whole I forgive most stuff  , I always (and I am far from a goody two shoes) try to walk in their shoes, think of how they must be feeling.what would make them do that or say that...I think you also have to dwell on the persons good points not the negative ones...Oh crumbs I do sound like a goody two shoes........
Avatar universal
Forgiveness is a difficult concept for me to understand.
It surely doesn't mean "forget" because we do remember those acts where forgiveness would be an issue.
It doesn't mean that we trust when we forgive because most of us are reluctant to trust someone whose betrayed us - at least for a while.
When I forgive someone I chose to not think badly about them although I don't forget and I don't immediately trust them again.
So I'm not really sure how forgiveness changes the parameters or dimensions of relationships other than I will treat someone I've forgiven civilly and with kindness - but often from a distance.
Mike
585414 tn?1288941302
I would agree with what other people posted but additionally its hard to forgive someone who can see no wrong doing in themselves or even mistakes. Usually an understanding with a person after a disagreement is a two way street and I can often see where I went wrong but if the other person thinks (with everyone not just me) that they are perfect at all times then I realize they are incapable of change and just tend to move on in life and hope they will develop a better understanding later.
203342 tn?1328737207
I think Corrie Ten Boom says in best. If you don't mind I will copy and paste it here. Corrie Ten Boom and her family hid Jews during WWII and were captured and thrown into a concentration camp as punishment. Her father and sister died there. She was released by "mistake". You can read all about it in her book "The Hiding Place". Since her release, she gave many talks, written several books and stayed active in charity work until her death over 20 years ago. With your permission I will copy what Corrie discovered about forgiveness. I highly recommend reading any of her books. You will be inspired. Here it is:

In 1947 in a Munich church, she told a German audience that God forgives.{3} When we confess our sins, she explained, God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever. After her presentation, she recognized a man approaching her, a guard from Ravensbruck, before whom she had had to walk naked. Chilling memories flooded back.

A fine message, Fraulein! said the man. How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea! He extended his hand in greeting.

Corrie recalled, "I, who had spoken so glibly of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me. . . But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. I was face to face with one of my captors, and my blood seemed to freeze."

The man continued: "You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk.... I was a guard there. But since that time I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well, Fraulein." He extended his hand again. "Will you forgive me?"
Forgive Him?

Corrie stood there, unable to forgive. As anger and vengeful thoughts raged inside her, she remembered Jesus' death for this man. Of His executioners He said, "Father, forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing." {4}

How could she refuse? But she lacked the strength. She silently asked God to forgive her and help her forgive him. As she took his hand, she felt a healing warmth flooding her body. "I forgive you, brother!" she cried, "With all my heart."

And so, Corrie later recalled, "I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on [God's]. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself."
Avatar universal
Forgive the person who hurt you and did wrong to you and you shall heap coals of fire upon his head.  Linda's translation of the bible here folks!  When you harbor ill feelings and refuse to forgive someone, you block god from working in that situation. This is one reason people think god did not answer there prayers.  There can be nothing between you and god when you ask him for help. Like April says if you need help forgiving, go thru the action and ask god for the feeling.
599170 tn?1300973893
wow what a wonderful post, about forgivness, I can forgive, even my husband hes already been forgiven, the problem I have is I cant forget,,,and Ive developed this theory I believe that when someone does something wrong , it shows you what they are capable of and anything done once can be done again,

forgiving is a wonderful thing it lifts loads of pounds of heaviness of your shoulders, and we can not expect to be forgiven if we can not forgive.
483733 tn?1326798446
Forgiveness is a healing of the soul.  When I was younger I was so angry at my parents, at my abusive ex-husband, and at an unethical ex-boss.  The wisdom of age has tought me to understand and examine the reasons and lessons from things in my past.  

Kids don't come with a manual and our parents do the best they can with what they have in tough circumstances.  I've learned that when someone is mentally ill to not take their actions and words personally.  By giving my understanding and forgiveness I have built a strong and loving relationship with my stepmother.  My father did not protect me from her but I have forgiven him as he was scared of losing what he had.  My mother abandoned me when I was young and I have forgiven her even though I do not agree with the decisions she made in her life.  Over the years I have learned why my ex-husband acted the way he did and how he learned those behaviours as well as my role in enabling them (there is no excuse for abuse but there it doesn't mean you should allow it and I did for too long).  I had years of hate for an ex-boss who cheated me from money but I now appreciate the lessons - both positive and negative that I learned in that position and it has made me a stronger business person.  

I can happily say that I have forgiven all but one person in my life and I am working on finding a reason or way to do this.  It is amazing how relaxed you are and the reduction in stress in your life that happens when you forgive and let these past issues go.
Avatar universal

I agree with TrudieC that forgiveness is a "healing of the soul". When you forgive someone, it isn't about them.... it is more about yourself and moving on. The person(s) that you forgive, do not need to be aware that you forgave them and it doesn't mean that you will ever speak with them again. It just means that you have realized that holding on to that anger isn't helping you in any way, so it is time to let go of that... for yourself.
Avatar universal
Nor should we forget. Forgiveness yes, forget it no. Who needs a do over!
Avatar universal

You know I was thinking about this today and how I pray for those people that we need to forgive. Obviously they are the ones who need our prayers !
585414 tn?1288941302
Yes I agree with you but if someone has been abused in some manner within the law they do need to report it so it doesn't happen to others. Then they can move on in their thinking and understand that the reason the person did was because they needed help. The ultimate goal is if the way the issue is addressed the other person seeks help and understands that they were in the wrong but if they continue doing the same act to others either that's not good either. It still must stop. Its a complex area but anyone who has experienced abuse has the right to protect themselves but also the responsibility to protect others who may encounter the same person. After they've done that they are entitled to their feelings and at that point if forgiveness makes them feel at ease with what's happenned and at peace it does make sense.
Avatar universal
"but if someone has been abused in some manner within the law they do need to report it so it doesn't happen to others."

I agree with you 100%. Forgiveness is not excusing bad behavior (lying, abuse, etc.) We all need to be held accountable for our actions.
599170 tn?1300973893
I have seen documentarys 20/20 and 48 hrs type shows , also a segment on Oprah once where peole have forgive the murderers of their loved ones, Once it was a woman 40 ish who forgave the manwho killed her daughter, she actually became somewhat of a mentor to him, corresponded and visited him in jail, That is alot to forgive,
I dont really personally think holding someone accountable for illegal activities is a form of non-forgivness, I think its just the right thing to do, As stated we want rapists, murders etc off the streets.

It would be great if we could let women know that our exs hit, or were abusive in other ways but of course that would require a great deal of negative energy and they wouldnt belueve us anyways.Most mean people appear to be nice at first,,,
365714 tn?1292199108
I find it's easy to say I forgive anyone, but it takes a lot more work to actually do the forgiving, I mean completely no strings attached and without harboring bitter feelings and resentments...  That's where I struggle.  I can try to forgive a person, but I still find myself expecting some kind of reconciliation or apology or something… It’s much easier for me to forgive someone who is truly sorry and interested in reconciliation than someone not interested in those things.

So in effect, I gather that wouldn’t be true forgiveness.  To forgive someone without those expectations, must take divine power.

599170 tn?1300973893
you have struggled with this for a long time, when you forgive someone, there cant really be any expectations in return because of 2 reasons, 1, its not likely to happen,,and 2, when you really really forgive someone you dont even expect that its just a walk away, the peace that you recieve is a gift from God to you, or if youd like to think of it a different way its a gift to yourself. It cleanses the mind of worries and stress, and it really does feel awsome.
Im not trying to put you down, I think you know by now that I understand you and value you, I would love you to be able to let some of your burdens go, you can not expect other people to reconcile, or apologies, I think you feel that need for self validation, and MJ your great, an artist so kind to people on here, love yourselfand others will follow , does this make any sense? hugs, from your friend, Cherie
168348 tn?1379357075
In addition to all of the above, what's wonderful about forgiveness is that it is a choice one has .... totally up to you.

C~
681888 tn?1272922309
i cant forgive these two people who hurt me so much ,.....i know it would help me if i did but i cant !!and i never will !!!,......they dont deserve it in my eyes !,! they sit in the same house i visit at times so i make out that they are not even there !! that they are invisible to me ,!....will god turn his back on me for that ???......i am a forgiving person but i just cant forgive these two people ,.



203342 tn?1328737207
No one can without God's help. We don't have the strength to do it on our own. It's not for their benefit, though. It's so you can have peace and let it go. It's not forgetting. It's letting God be the judge and you just sitting back and letting it go. It's not letting it affect your life anymore, because when you do that you've given that person power over you. When you can truly let it go, they no longer have that power over you.
Avatar universal
Forgiveness helps the one doing the forgiving. It rids ones inner self of the demons that rule your life. It actually has very little to do with the one being forgiven. Imagine life without hurt, anger, hatred ruling your life. The person who cannot or will not forgive gives those people way to much power over them, whether they realize it or not.
915277 tn?1252573113
Your post to MJ was beautifully written and I have learned that forgiveness is really for me and not for those who have done me wrong.  I have forgiven most of the people in my life who have hurt me, but, I have found that some people are easy to forgive and then there are those that it seems impossible to forgive!  The hurt that they caused is so painful and so deep, it's like they have knocked your whole world off it's axis, and as much as you know, in your head, that you should forgive, your heart is broken and all these raw emotions tell your head to shut the heck up!  I had a friend of 41 years betray me and it's taken me almost 3 yrs to finally let it go, I still can't say I forgive her out loud, I say, I let it go.  My step-father sexually abused me when I was young, and forgiving that one is really tuff...for the most part I have let it go, but, letting it go may be the best I can ever do...
Star641, I can really empathize with you, I feel your pain...each forgiveness comes at it's own pace, better to say "I'm not quite there" than to fake it...I continue to ask God to help me...
460185 tn?1326077772
All the answers seem quite thoughtful and well thought out.  I do have a question that I might have missed in reading this thread, although April's comment about the German guard was close.  What does a group upon whom genocide has been attempted - sometimes successfully; sometimes not.  How does forgiveness fit in there.

I also find it interesting to read comments about forgiveness from those who pass judgement on others based on false information.  How can a person who judges based on untruths forgive or be forgiven?

You always ask such interesting questions  = )

203342 tn?1328737207
You bring up a good point, lonewolf. I think often times we are unaware of our own sins until someone points it out. In other words, often times we don't even realize if we are being judgmental towards someone and most of us would be horrified to hear someone point that out in us but sometimes we need others to see and gently show us what we may not see in ourselves. This only works usually with someone we are close to, whom we trust and who can gently do this in our best interest without any malicious meaning behind it.
I do understand. I've had people judge me based on untruths and it hurts and is unfair and our first reaction it to defend ourselves but I've had to really struggle with that to let it go and give it to God. It sure ain't easy, though!
460185 tn?1326077772
I also wonder how Native people "forgive" the collective wrongs that were done to us.  Blaming does no good.  Forgiveness - can there be a collective forgiveness or do each of us   as individual Native people have to "let go" of the anger.  There is a letting go ceremony among the Mohawks but I don't know if it pertains to what happened to us historically.

Avatar universal
The very moment I've made my decision to forgive, that means I will not bring up the transgression that was made against me ever again to that person; nor, to any one else.  It's voided, removed from my vocabulary, as far as the east is from the west, for all of eternity.  

Having the "memory" of the transgression, the hurt, pain, etc. is the "experience" of my being on the receiving end of wrong-doing (cause and effect).

When I choose to "Forgive" another's transgression, I'm making a conscience choice not to hold it against them.  I am choosing, 'not to collect from them on that dept', so to speak on my behalf.  In other words, I have choosen to "sacrifice" all the hurt and pain.  Nonetheless, the memories, hurt and pain may linger, but, I will no longer use it against them.  

This is what I keep in mind.  It helps me considerably with the issue of forgiveness:  
When the day comes when I stand before GOD, how do I want HIM to forgive me?  Do I want Him to hash it over for awhile in his mind about all the pain I caused HIM with my horrible transgressions and go around talking to everyone HE knows about what to do about it?  Do I want HIM to think it over for a few days, months, years, eternity?  Do I want HIM to tell me HE just can't "deal" with that, it hurts too bad!!?  Do I want HIM to tell me I have to pay for what I did and after it is paid then I can get set free; but, only if it's to HIS satisfaction.  Well, all I can say, is I could never repay to HIS satisfaction for all of my own transgressions against HIM.  But, he loved me so much that HE sacraficed HIS perfect SON - Chirst Jesus, for me, all HIS hurt and pain, never bringing up (remembering) my transgressions against me again.  Leaving my transgressions as far as the east is from the west!  Is God's memory poor that HE doesn't "remember" things for long, of course not!  It means, HE will not bring it up anymore!  HIS son paid my dept in full, over and beyond, because I never had enough to pay it in full myself.  For that, I am forever and eternaly gratetful.  And it also helps "me" to remember to forgive others myself and very quickly!

Blessings and Pleasant thoughts to you.      
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