Sunday, March 13, 2011

Forgiveness, even if....

Being one to hold grudges, I am so unchristlike when it comes to forgiveness.   I’m not always sure why I get bent out of shape by some incidents, and not at all by others.   If I’m embarrassed by someone, it’s hard for me to get over it.   A cousin humiliated me some years ago in front of much of my family, and it took me years to forgive him.   I’m almost certain everyone who heard his one comment forgot it within five minutes.   No so with me.    Not only did I hold it against him, I was vocal about my displeasure.  In retrospect, I brought a lot more attention to myself and to the situation than he ever did.

Hindsight is 20/20, yes?
I finally forgave him.   And in my heart of hearts, I do not believe he said anything to hurt me, and had he known how I would feel about it, he would have never said anything.    That was one comment.   With my ex-husband, who did far more than my cousin, I can’t remember that I ever held a grudge.   Hardly makes sense does it?
Two different times today, an issue I’ve had trouble forgiving has been brought to my mind.   This was something a couple I considered my friends did to my daughter, not to me directly (but in a way, it was to me directly because it hurt my daughter so badly).    At times, I think I’m over it, it’s behind me, all forgiven, and some days, I know that’s true.   On other days, something will remind me, and I find that I still harbor some unforgiveness.    I go very long periods of time without thinking about them; it’s not as if I dwell on it and plot revenge.   No, but every once in a while, I will be reminded, and I just know…there’s still something there.  If I see them out, I do my best to avoid speaking with them.   What’s more, this was a very long time ago.   It’s not how I want to be!  
Forgiveness does not mean that I have to restore the relationship.   But it does mean that I give it up to God.  It means that I let it go, and I will no longer hold it against them.  Heaven knows, God has had to put up with a lot from me!   
These people probably have no clue that I still think about that incident at times.   I’m sure they’ve long forgotten that day.   That’s what I plan to do, as well.   As my dad told me just today, “Get over it!”   I suppose I need to get over myself, as well.  


  1. You touched on an issue I think a lot of us deal with (at least I do, LOL). I'm with you about unforgiveness/grudge holding for a "carelessly thrown" remark (i.e. I still haven't forgive MIL for what she said years ago that she doesn't remember) yet all the strife/anxiety/worry son "caused" me I don't hold a grudge and easily forgive. It is very interesting how we act like that.

    One time son did something wrong that impacted another person. (don't worry, son had to deal with the consequences that arose from it, a lot of those consequences "painful" to him at the time). Anyway, the parents of the person said some very cruel things to us and although I can understand why they said it out of pain and frustration and anger, it did hurt. I had to pray a lot to forgive them for their words that hurt and asked God to bless them abundantly. God healed me and I wasn't bitter about the words they said any more. Not that I would want to ever be around them as friends again, a few years later we tried to reconcile so that we could at least say hi to each other if chance encounter at church or within the community. They weren't ready to meet with hubby and me. We moved a year or so later. I often wonder if they regret not meeting with us and how much of a grudge they may hold against son/us.

    Rick Warren in the Purpose Driven Life says that we need to forgive, not forget, but forgive. The person who wronged us has to earn back trust from us. But we do need to forgive them.

    I need to take that to heart.

    (I also think your last few entries, although written about you, have also been directed towards me too......hmmmmmm.....Lord.......)


  2. Well, forgiveness is certainly a beautiful word in your art that opens this post! Did you do that? I've admired several of your post's artwork pieces.

    Back to forgiveness. I know I keep saying this with your posts, but I could have written some of this. I, too, can have repeated flare-ups regarding long-past things that were relatively small and just let big things drop with nary a revisit.

    And then, with the flare-up, I have to will forgiveness all over again. And ask God to bless them all over again. And ask Him to take that resentment from me all over again--all the while reminding myself of how much Jesus has forgiven me. Ack.

    Although, I do not put offense against my children in the "small thing" category. I'm just like you with that, too.

    I don't know, Margaret. I do believe that God honors our heart when we recommit to forgive. again. He understands our flesh sometimes has a 'mind' of its own. And He knows that the enemy of our souls is the one reminding us of those slights out of the blue.

    Even believing that, it does cause me a great deal of anguish to realize that I can hold onto things and be so resentful.

    As far as the domoestic violence. That must have been a horrible shock to you 4 days into a marriage! Thank God you were strong enought to get out--and get your baby out--safely.

    And that judge. :o It is true that women do often return to their abuser, but one of the reasons they do is because of judges like that!

    You showed much courage at a very young age. And show much heart now in your desire to forgive. :D I'm glad to know ye.


  3. When attempting to completely change my life, I looked inward and found that I held a grudge toward two people. I prayed.

    After only one prayer, I found that I no longer had the grudge against one of these two, but the second one remained. I kept praying...for many months, but I didn't feel anything change.

    Finally, I tried to listen for the small, still voice with which many think God speaks to us. It said: You don't have to love him (as in being best friends), you just have to forgive him. I'm happy to say that I did, although I sometimes have flashbacks to incidents when I worked for him. I still pray over these and try to put myself in his position. I think I may have just a few faults myself...

  4. isn't growth a wonderful thing? :) i never really thought i held grudges or that forgiveness was so hard until my life changing event...and i learned just how hard it could be. i believe one thing that helped me was reminding myself that i would be shown mercy in same manner that i was merciful and be forgiven as i forgive others...and man, i know how much i need mercy and forgiveness!!!


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