CHPH, page 137:
Think of someone who once offended or hurt you, but whom you have since completely forgiven. Do you still have bad feelings toward them? Write about the gift of forgiveness the Lord bestows upon us to help us forgive each other.
When it really hurts, when it’s the kind of hurt that has you down on the floor in tears asking “why?” or “how could they do this?” then maybe time is the answer. It seems like only the passage of time can get you far enough away from the immediate pain to see the situation with any perspective.
I hope the Lord has bestowed the gift of forgiveness on me to be able to forgive. I try not to harbor thoughts or relive offenses. Yes, I still sometimes have momentary bad feelings, but I don’t think it’s toward the person, just a painful twinge of being reminded of a difficult memory.
They, whether they were people I lived with or love in my family or trusted as leaders, are simply human and the people closest to us are in a position to do us the most harm. They are just people who make mistakes like I do. Hurt or no hurt, I can’t go back and relive those moments in some other way, so I have to forgive them, let go of recriminations or wishing for things to be different, and move on. Especially since these are people I see daily or weekly and I just can’t keep feeling the full force of the past each time—I wouldn’t be able to function, just like I could hardly function at the time those things happened, and in one case lost nearly a decade of having any self-confidence or feeling like a man at all, or being able to do the creative part of my work which I had always enjoyed the most.
Just like a temptation, a wave of grief or moment of painful remembrance must be sidestepped and allowed to continue on to the Lord, who is the only one who can deal with it.
Having faith that someone will deal with all the injustice and hurt in the world can be difficult, but is necessary so that I can let go of it and get on with my life instead of being imprisoned by events of the past.
P.S. I hasten to add that I recognize my own need for forgiveness from the Lord and that I have also been one who caused great hurt with the issues surrounding my addiction. It is mostly for these reasons that I feel I wouldn't have a leg to stand on in withholding forgiveness from anyone.
Sharing and capturing on Clean Hands, Pure Heart
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