Forgiving other people can be tough if not downright impossible it seems. Let’s be honest, some folks are hateful, mean, cruel, and abusive. How do you ever get to the point where the mention of their name does not send chills up your spine and make you want to go “Postal” on them?
Here are a few reasons why forgiveness is so hard to do:
- What they did to you wounded you so deeply that it has never truly healed.
- Perhaps they refuse to take any responsibility, much less apologize for what they did to you.
- Maybe this has become a habit and they continue to hurt you over and over.
- Vengeance seems to be a viable option.
Here is the downside to not forgiving other people who have wronged you:
- If you never forgive them, you cannot get better. You get bitter. That poison will be carried with you and taint any relationship it touches. Is it worth ruining other relationships in your life because you can’t let it go and forgive them?
- Realize that you cannot force someone to accept responsibility. Only the law can do that, and if they broke the law then they will be held accountable by the law.
- If you have been in an abusive relationship and the apologies are empty air, realize what you are dealing with and get out of there. You still need to forgive them…for your sake, not theirs.
- Vengeance is never a valid solution to an offence. Don’t take the law into your own hands or the one that offended you might very well get the last laugh as you are carted off in handcuffs or a body bag.
If you refuse to forgive someone, it does not mean you totally forget it (although I do believe that can happen). What it means is:
- You refuse to give them control over your life anymore, so you forgive them.
- You refuse to talk about them negatively to other people because once you have forgiven them, you can let it go and never bring it up again.
- You have come to the point that not only have you declared that you forgive them…but you ask God to bless them! This is by far the most difficult thing to do, but you KNOW you have forgiven them if you can bless them. It does not matter if they ever admit anything. What matters is that you, once you have truly forgiven them, have moved back into the land of the living…free from the chains that have held you prisoner to the past.
I pray that you learn to forgive others. If you are a Christian, pay attention to Mark 11:26 which says: “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in Heaven forgive your transgressions.” That is a pretty sobering thought. Even if you are not a Christian, you understand that what goes around comes around. You reap what you sow. Learn to bestow grace on the ones that have offended you and you will see God doing incredible things in your life and theirs.