On Forgiveness (Of Self And Others)
The basic reason for forgiveness is that God says to do so. There’s nothing fair in having to forgive abuse, because there was no excuse for the abuse. Forgiveness requires a supernatural act and is only possible when God accomplishes it through you, rather than by your own strength. Remember, the deeper the wound and the greater the pain, the more difficult and lengthy the process of healing.
Forgiveness is a necessary step in this healing. When any of us have been hurt, our natural tendency is to recoil in self-protection. As you desire to be free from your past and to prevent Satan from taking advantage of you, it is crucial to open your heart to God and allow Him to walk you through each step in the process.
An essential step toward forgiveness is the confidence of knowing you did not cause the abuse. This means that you have to give yourself permission to be human. That includes making mistakes, recognizing your feelings of inadequacy, and realizing the choices you are making in life are directly influenced by the hurt and sins committed against you. This will enable you to experience healing from the lingering pain of abuse without forgetting that it happened. Forgiveness will provide you with personal freedom from being controlled by the past abusive events, from emotional ties to the abuser, and from the continual internal conflicts of bitterness and hate. Forgiveness allows you to become whole.
Remember these key facts about forgiveness:
Forgiveness is a choice.
Forgiveness does not mean forgetting.
Forgiveness does not mean the other person deserves it.
Forgiveness is painful and difficult.
You will never feel like forgiving (so don’t wait).
Forgiveness of others allows you to let go of the past and triumph over adversity. Remembering what happened to you allows you to grow and learn from your experience. It is especially hard to forgive someone who has intentionally wronged you. However, until you’ve forgiven, you’re allowing that person to control your thoughts, emotions, and actions. If you can remember that Christ died for ALL sin, it might help you realize the extent to which you yourself have been forgiven. None of us deserve forgiveness—you forgive out of your love and obedience to Christ, and for the freedom from your bond to the past. Once you choose to forgive, the Lord begins to set your heart free from anger, hurt, and pain. And Satan loses his power to work.
REMEMBER THIS TRUTH:
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and to realize that prisoner was you.”—Corrie ten Boom
– Excerpt from Winning the Battle Over Abuse by Dr. Peter Newhouse