Wednesday, August 16, 2006


two weeks ago i gave a little speech in church about a nasty experince that i had at my previous church. at the end of it i said that even though the crap that went down happened over two years ago i still struggle with feelings of anger and unforgiveness toward these people...really its just a few choice people. so last night i finally prayed about it. one would think i might have gotten on this a little sooner, but better late than never i suppose. it was actually really good because i haven't prayed in a long time. i've been wondering how to just let go of what these people did. tonight i was thinking of what i might actually say to these people in the act of forgiving them. i thought that i'd start out with the record i have kept of their wrongs (similar to the record that God doesnt keep), of course remembering the sometimes pat answer that love keeps no record of wrongs. but i dont love these people. so i have my list. other scriptures come to mind about loving ones enemies and such. i guess that if i saw one of them stuck under the wheel of a semi that was about to explode i'd call 911 and such, but i don't have to like them after doing so. and i dont. i'm not sure i ever will like them again. and if they were all stuck under the wheel i might think of it as divine intervention and leave them there. i just remembered a conversation with mike where he posed the idea that maybe Jesus doesnt actually like everyone...he loved everyone for sure, but its not the same as liking them. he definitely had choice people he surrounded himself with and there was John, the disciple that he loved...i'm still thinking on that, and if that were indeed true it would certainly make my not liking the people i dont like, i'm actively working on letting go of the past and hoping that helps me not be so freakin angry all the time. if you have tips (whoever you are that has actually read to the bottom) on forgiveness or thoughts on the concept please post a comment. and thanks in advance.


Lisa said...

Even though I didn't tell you, I really appreciated your bravery in getting up there and telling your story. I could never have done it.

Have you seen that bumper sticker that says "Jesus Loves You. The rest of us think you're an asshole."

I think Mike is right in that liking and loving are definitely two separate things. I'm not sure what the difference is. Maybe it's that love is when you have compassion for another person's soul, so you pray for them, even though you hate the current state of their soul.

But forgiveness doesn't really have anything to do with the person you're forgiving. It only has to do with you. So you need to decide what it would take for you to feel that you've forgiven them. And maybe that's just time. Time has a way of healing all wounds. I've found that true in my own life. The more time that passes, the more those feelings of anger and hatred just don't seem important anymore.

Two years isn't very much time. Maybe shoot for 5 or 10? Anyway, praying about it is a great start. Good for you.

Priscilla said...

Hi! I found your blog through Chris Logan's blog...hope you don't mind me chiming in.

I found for me when I was angry and unforgiving towards someone for many was really hurting me. Not anyone else. It finally mushroomed into a horrible clinical depression. The depression made my ruminating over my hurt and anger worse. Finally I went to a counselor. She made me realize that in order to really heal from the hurt, I needed to forgive. was the problem. I didn't want to forgive. But I knew that what my counselor was telling me was the truth. I wanted to be obedient to the Lord...but I could not do it on my own. I started with that desire to be obedient and made a decision in my mind to forgive. I prayed that the Lord would help me forgive...not to feel like forgiving. If I waited for that, it would never happen. (by the had been 15 years) I memorized scripture to re-enforce my decision to forgive. It took many months and many attacks from Satan (he did not want to lose the hold he had on me that my unforgiveness gave him). I kept praying, reading scripture and reciting and memorizing verses that helped strengthen my decision to forgive. I also kept saying "no" to Satan because I was choosing to walk in obedience by forgiving the people who had hurt me.

Eventually, the feelings in my heart lined up with the decision in my mind. I can honestly say now that the anger and resentment and unforgiveness is gone. I am also able to really love this person even though I haven't even seen or spoken to him in about 17 years now...which brings up another point: it is not necessary to confront the person you are forgiving. I will say that once in a while Satan tries to resurrect the bitterness that once held me his captive. That is happening less and less often. I say, "No, I have forgiven."

Forgiveness for a hurt that is deep is not often a quick and easy prayer just once or twice. It is a process that starts with a decision made in your mind.

The Lord always blesses us for obedience. I hope this helps you.

Mel said...

thanks, Priscilla, for your comments. i'm finding that forgiving these people is a necessary part of getting on with life. i'm glad you mentioned not having to confront the other party. i've been mulling this around in my head for some time. i ended up thinking that part of the reason i've not forgiven them is that they never bothered to hear my story, at least with any kind of understanding or compassion, so i think i must meet with them. ironically i called these people yesterday only to be met with an answering machine. when i tried today i found that i just wasnt ready. i will keep praying about it, and the right time will show itself i suppose. thanks again for your comments and feel free to chime in any time:)