The other day I was listening to the song Losing by Tenth Avenue North. It reminded me how many people feel about forgiveness. How I often feel about forgiveness. It’s hard to forgive people who have hurt you. Especially if they’re not even sorry. Or maybe they say they’re sorry but you don’t feel like they really are. But not forgiving people is even worse for your heart. Holding hate in your heart helps no one. Forgiveness takes time but don’t let unforgiveness destroy your heart.
“Why do we think hate’s going to change their heart? We’re up in arms over wars that don’t need to be fought. But pride won’t let us lay weapons on the ground. We build our bridges up, but just to burn them down. We think pain is owed apologies and then it’ll stop! But truth be told it doesn’t matter if they’re sorry or not. Freedom comes when we surrender to the sound of mercy and your grace, Father, send your angels down.”- Losing by Tenth Avenue North
It is obviously important to set up health boundaries and not put yourself in dangerous situations. There may be people who have hurt you who you do not feel safe talking to. This is okay. You can forgive someone in your heart without ever talking to them. Also, forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. It just keeps their behavior from destroying you. Forgiveness is really hard. I think this is one of the main things I struggle with. Maybe partly because my OCD and anxiety cause me to be hard on myself which in turn causes me to be hard on others. I have learned forgiveness has helped to heal my heart. It can be very hard and I know I haven’t been hurt as badly as other people have. I think it would be very difficult for people who have been abused to forgive their abuser. I just want to remind you forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. It just helps you to feel better. And obviously, there is no need to talk to that person again if that’s what you feel is right.
“Oh, Father won’t you forgive them? They don’t know what they’ve been doing, oh no. Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them because I feel like the one losing.”- Losing by Tenth Avenue North
It is hard to have grace with people. It is hard to have grace with yourself. I can’t do it on my own. I have asked God to help me have grace with myself and others. It is something I am working on every day. Working toward forgiveness will help you feel better.
“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.’ And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.”- Luke 23:34 NLT