Day 14 – A barrier to forgiveness?

On this Friday I’d like to take a look back on the journey so far. This is the end of 3 of 4 weeks of writing about forgiveness.

To be honest, I didn’t have a road map for this journey… I just knew that it was the right time to start it.

And even though I made a few mistakes, I think overall it’s been very enlightening and useful. I can’t believe the number of comments on the website or email replies I’ve been getting. Thank you all so much, it’s really helpful when you go through things to know that others have gone through them as well.

So much of what I’ve written is a way of trying to answer the question, what goes wrong when we can’t forgive?

I’ve very conscious of the “should do” aspect of forgiveness. But I’m also trying to be honest about real feelings. So much of the time I feel like people who have been through something they just can’t forgive are told to forgive anyways. That God won’t forgive them if they don’t forgive first. And while these comments are true, they provide no means or help to go forward.

Also, forgiveness seems to be a journey, not a once and done event. It’s definitely more complicated that a simple “I forgive” moment.

Again, in all of this I’m speaking of “Hard Forgiveness”.

It’s like at some point there’s some kind of barrier to forgiveness. A continuum from easy to hard that when you cross a line, the whole equation shifts. I tried to illustrate that in a diagram, which resonated with some and not with others.

But as a person who normally doesn’t hold a grudge that line became shockingly real once I crossed it and couldn’t get back. Maybe I didn’t want to, which was disconcerting too, in it’s own way.

Some of your comments also took into consideration the willingness of the other party to admit to their wrongs, or to at least work on the problem… or not. And whether or not the situation continues, that’s certainly a factor.

There’s more to uncover here.

I’ll do my best next week.

Thanks for your participation.

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  1. Dean,
    You probably won’t have any trouble believing this, but one of my devotions for today was on “Love Your Enemies”. It reminded me that before we were able to get Gods forgiveness I was an enemy of Gods. I had even less right to ask God for forgiveness that anyone who had been mean/abusive to me. We all get Gods forgiveness but at times we are the first to not forgive others.
    Maryanna Elliott

    [email protected]

  2. I truly believe forgiveness is a journey. I was sexually abused by my alcoholic stepfather as a little girl for many years. I was left to deal with the emotional and psychological pain on my own. The one true thing I had in my life was God. I came to forgive this man as God showed me how and I realized this man carried the heavy burden and guilt of his own. Forgiving this man freed me from a lifetime of condemning him for what he did. I’m finally at peace .

  3. It’s not easy or instant to forgive one that has done you wrong. I knew I had to do what was right for ME and that was to forgive someone whom I knew would never say they were sorry. And I realized that it was their demons and issues , not mine. Something they would have to resolve on their own. And wondered, would they ever be able to forgive themselves?

  4. Question please….I believe I’ve forgiven but haven’t gotten over the hurt from it., sometimes I think about I’m all good other times it makes my heart sad because I don’t understand why my mentor dropped me. Any suggestions….I’ve prayed about it and continue to. Thank you for your time.