What Proof Do We Receive that We have Actually Forgiven Someone…
Forgiving Means Giving up the Hurt
By Jennifer Thorn
Forgiving someone who has hurt you can be so painful, especially when they keep doing the same thing that hurt you over again.
How many times do you forgive? When does it cross that line of them taking advantage of your goodwill or good nature? I’m not sure if I am qualified to answer that, but I know that Matthew 18:21-22 says this, 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
God tells us to forgive; to pray for those who come against you, for those that hurt you, but it’s easier said than done.
I’ve realized today that you can trick your mind into believing you have forgiven someone, but if you are putting restrictions and limitations on that relationship to protect yourself, you haven’t really forgiven.
Forgiveness is not just saying the words, or telling yourself that ‘it is the right thing to do so, I forgive this person,’ then moving on without any heart in it, or without letting go of the hurt.
To forgive means letting go of the hurt and the offense.
Forgiveness means to again make yourself vulnerable to that person, and trusting that they will do their best to be good to you.
I’ve been telling myself for a while that I forgave someone, but in my heart I’ve been holding on to that pain and using it as a wall to protect myself from hurting further, but God showed me this morning how wrong I was.
I’ve been loving and serving this person on the surface, while inside I was crying because I was hurt and I put up walls to protect myself from being hurt in the future.
I’d tell myself that I had forgiven them because I was still trying to do nice things for them despite the offense and I would tell them that I forgave whatever offense had hurt me, but inside my mind would be saying ‘see they don’t really care, if they did they’d stop hurting you, they know it hurts you, you told them, they just don’t care.’
But God showed me this morning that is not forgiveness. I may have said it, and I may even acted like I did, but in my heart I was still holding on to the pain. And the pain was getting worse because I desired to have a close relationship with this person, but because of the prior hurt I wasn’t letting them get close, and pride being what it is convinced me that the reason we weren’t as close anymore was their fault not mine.
I told myself lots of things about it like they just weren’t being fair, they didn’t care as much as I do, they don’t value me the way I value them because if they did they’d stop.
When I stepped back this morning though and really looked at the situation, my actions and motives, and theirs; I realized I was wrong.
I realized I was the problem and not a victim.
This person has been trying all along, they’ve been doing their best with where they are now and trying to figure out what it is that would heal our situation.
They’ve been working at it, but my hurt kept getting in the way of seeing that. Instead I rejected their attempts, I even would lash out at them and pull away more, then get upset when things were tense and uncomfortable, then blame them again.
Forgiveness means to give up the hurt, because if you hold onto it, it WILL poison you and any relationships you have.
No, you should not let people take advantage of you, and always tell someone when you feel that they are. But leave the hurt behind, don’t carry it with you. People are people, we will all fail, we are all works in progress. If someone is really trying, then give up the hurt and do your best to support and encourage them, and yes they will hurt you again, and guess what you will definitely hurt them too. I can say without doubt that everybody is going to screw up sometimes, but if we build on a foundation of love and genuine forgiveness rather than one of old hurts and let downs, then we are building a lasting relationship.
Proverbs 17:9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends
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Comments on Amazon:
I am very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy reading these short stories by Jennifer Thorn. I am not a fan of short stories. The stories in this book, however, are well written and well developed. The author uses a lot of description of the setting and gives the readers great insight into the characters, quite amazing in short stories I think. I felt like I got to know the characters, due to Jennifer’s ability to draw me into the story with her writing style. I could even imagine the scenes in the stories, something I am not usually very good at. I highly recommend this book, A Night at the Old Hotel And Other Short Stories. You will be glad that you took the time to read it!
It’s always hard to find a good book that’s worth buying to me, but after reading just the sample I was hooked. All of the stories make you wanting more. The stories definitely keep your attention. Great work!