Undeserved Forgiveness: Does It Exist?
click here, you can read up on the details of that dreaded day. In short, my parents home was raided by the FBI for a number of reasons, which is listed in that article. Was I upset? Of course. But this was my parents' trauma---not mine. I mean, thinking that you're going to lose your parents because they're going to a federal pen is pretty traumatic. Seeing a ton of FBI agents with assault rifles pointed at your home is pretty scary---but I wouldn't call it as traumatic as someone living in an abusive household. I looked at the bigger picture. It could have been much much worse. I could've been in a real shady household, being physically and verbally beaten or sexually abused. I wasn't. When I think back on my childhood, all I can ever remember is all of the happiness, comfort and safety. I think about the togetherness, having three amazing siblings to spend my life with.
On that same day our home was getting raided, and my property was being dug up 30 ft deep for "missing bodies" (which turned out to be a lie) I thought to myself, "All these years my parents' punished me, and yet they're doing something 100 x's worse!" But I loved them. They were my everything. So, I forgave them. I realized how human they were. All of my siblings forgave my parents too. We were truly all best friends. Nobody could do any wrong in our eyes. We can 'see' the wrong, but we can also move past it.
I've heard that in order to forgive, you must always remember the offense so that it doesn't happen again. I disagree with this. I mean, yes we can all learn from something that has happened to us, but why aren't we giving ourselves permission to move on from it? I know quite a few people (writers/authors) who talk about PTSD and dealing with people who have hurt you in the past. They even give detailed descriptions of certain traits of people to stay away from. I think each person is so individual---how can you peg them for doing something another person did? That's why many people don't trust anyone anymore. They were hurt by someone they loved, whether a spouse, an ex, or a family member, and they use that very experience and purge it all on the next person to come into their lives. It becomes more about misplaced anger.
"Well that's just too big of a thing to forgive."
In a schoolhouse shooting years ago in the Amish community of Pennsylvania, the people had forgiven the killer and his family. News of the instant forgiveness stunned the outside world–-almost as much as the incident itself did. Many pundits lauded the Amish, but others worried that hasty forgiveness was emotionally unhealthy. As a father who lost a daughter in the schoolhouse said, "Forgiveness means giving up the right to revenge." --you can read more about that story here.
Forgiveness is purging your hurt and pain. It's not "bottling up your emotions" ---bitterness will do that. Everything can be forgivable whether you believe that or not.
“Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’” (Matthew 18:21-22 NLT).
"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." --Lewis Boese
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. --Matthew 6:14-15
If you're holding resentment or bitterness for someone, try letting it go and forgive them. Envision what it's like to live their lives and to experience all of their struggles. We all have a cross to bear, which is why we should be more forgiving, more understanding, more compassionate---everything that 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
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