Day 5 – The Strange Paradox With Forgiveness

Day 5: The Strange Paradox With Forgiveness

So many wonderful responses to my messages last week, thank you! I appreciate every one of them.

As I read through them I see some common threads. I’d say:

  1. Some comments are about “painful experiences,”
  2. Others about “ongoing struggles to be free,”
  3. And Lastly, some are “good advice.”

And the advice IS good.

The ODD thing is how ineffective it is for someone who’s gone through something they just can’t find their way through.

I find this to be one of the strangest paradoxes with forgiveness. The advice is there. For the most part, it’s pretty well known. The person who wants to forgive could probably give the same advice to someone else.

At least I could’ve.

And yet… when it came down to it I felt this tension in my gut, this horrible boiling, seesaw action between wanting to forgive and being unable to in practice. Sure, I could agree intellectually with the rationale behind the advice.

But somehow my body and emotions did not. I’d wake up in the mornings and I’d FEEL the sadness, the anger, and the resentment.

I’d distract myself, but it would peek around the corner at me until I knew it was coming at me again.

I’d resolve that I’d forgive. But the next day… here it was again.

I suspect you know what I mean. Especially if you’re in the “painful experiences” group or the “ongoing struggles to be free” group. Maybe if you’re in the “good advice” group too.

You see, I think hard forgiveness is hard because it’s not intellectual or rational.  It’s not something that we can just agree to.  It’s not a about proof or debate.  It’s about something deeper.

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  1. Sometimes I feel like, “the woman with the issue of blood” buying all the good advice. And though the advice may good and real, I can’t seem to touch the hem of His garment. Finding myself in the “painful experience” group and the “ongoing struggles to be free” group. At times I also feel like Joseph, betrayed by his family. And I also feel like Esther, praying and fasting for her family (nation) to reverse what the has written against them to destroy her kin.
    I appreciate your transparency, it helps me.
    Lovesick for the Lover of our soul, MK

  2. Wow I really needed to read your message today about the paradoxes of forgiveness. I was sexually abused by my dad and because of my faith worked hard to forgive him. In fact, I had Christian counseling as well. During the time I worked on this I lived 600 miles away. However, the past 20+ years I have lived very close. Seven years ago I moved my parents in with me because of their health. My mom only lived a few years but my dad is still living at 96. During his stay the abuse was brought up by my brother during conflict with my dad. It was very uncomfortable for a period of time but I assured him that I had forgiven him. Things appear to get back to normal until my dad health required Hospice. He just wants to die and planned to have my husband shot him by physically abusing me. This situation has brought my angry feelings straight to the top. I can’t begin to forgive him or I don’t even know if I want too. I have given up so much to care for them and became of this incident I feel used again. In fact, I placed my dad in a facility. When I visit or talked to him on the phone my angry is apparent. We can’t talk because we are both angry. I ask myself how did this happen after seven years? I would appreciate your input please. I know I need to do this before he dies intellectually but it just doesn’t happen. Prayers

  3. Forgiveness used to be hard 20 years ago, but for now it is easy because of Jesus! He forgave me and cured me of alcoholism. I didn’t do it for fun. The circumstances and deaths in my family caused me the need to numb from the pain. Thank you Jesus for saving me and forgiving me!

  4. In many cases, forgiveness is difficult because the damage is still evident and painful. In these cases, forgiveness is a process, as is healing. I learned this in a church support group I went to years ago. Commit to the process and to your being and seek these things. Admit to God how hard it is to forgive and ask for His help. It can take time.

  5. Forgiveness is a huge issue. Jesus knew that. It starts with you have to be able to totally forgive yourself and be truley at peace with yourself. You can not forgive anyone including those who have done something to you in whatever manner until this is done. I have found that if you try to forgive and it’s a half hearted event does more damage to you and also gives the other power over you. I learned this and has taken me over 20 years. God has been with me continuously…protecting me…i am still a work in progress….god is good.

  6. I’ve got a long bad relationship with my sister in law. I’ve done everything that I can to be on speaking terms with her. Every year I would text her on her birthday, never a reply. Because she doesn’t, thaf don’t bother me, whaf does, is the fact she questioned whi i was. I’ve done this for years. I don’t want anything from her except just to be kind. Why is that so hard?

  7. The bible says plain if you do not forgive those who trust pass against you neither will your heaven father forgive you. The take away is trust God to take care of the wrong doer, because if you must have vengeance that makes you as bad as the person who wronged you, and makes you disobedience to God and you could end up in hell with all the other disobedience people. Do you want to be counted as bad or good? All in all trust God and the evil doer will get his/her just reward. Trust God to take care of evil doers.