In my last post I talked about marriage. One point I left out was about forgiveness. In marriage, friendships, family and other relationships we hurt each other. We don’t do it in malice. It just happens. An action taken or word spoken or even a look can harm someone you love.
You ask for forgiveness. The Bible tells us to always to forgive. Forgiving someone is harder than we think. It hurts when someone wrongs us, whether unintentionally or not. We can’t forget it. It is there in our hearts and minds forever. When a person first apologizes you instinctively accept it, tell them to forget it and “go on”. But we are human and we don’t often do that. It can take time. Emotions are involved and we all know you cannot just turn on and off your emotions. Let’s be real. It doesn’t happen. But we do forgive. We know what they did was not intentional and we know if we were in their position we would want to be forgiven. Actually we have probably already been in that position:) Our relationship may be a little torn for a while and trust may have to be rebuilt. The kicker is we both have to work to rebuild that bridge.
Now what if it were intentional? What if they don’t ask for forgiveness? That stinks because God asks us to forgive anyway. I can honestly say that I have been there done that and still find myself angry at the person sometimes.
When we have a hard time forgiving the hurt can turn into resentment. Resentment is highly unhealthy. It can eat you alive. You are not at peace or contented. It can turn to hate and lead to all kinds of problems. It hurts you and all of those around you. We have to learn to let go. There are many ways to do that and we have to find what works best for us.
Now, how do we forgive ourselves? When we have hurt someone directly or even indirectly we have to forgive ourselves if we expect to be forgiven. I am still having a hard time forgiving myself for the pain I caused so many at my last attempt. I have had to work hard almost everyday to build my families’ trust back and prove to them that I am not going anywhere intentionally. Our relationships have gotten stronger but it hasn’t been easy. My daughter Elizabeth still calls me about every 15 minutes if I am gone to run errands for over an hour. Guilt consumes me at times and I have to remember that I am still alive. I am here for a “do over”, if you will. Most days I am good now though. I had to first ask God to forgive me. The Bible tells us that if we ask He will. So if He can then can’t we forgive ourselves?
We must learn to let go of all hurts done to us and what we have done to others. We are human and we will make mistakes. That is a rough pill to swallow. But if we can be good to ourselves and give ourselves a break maybe the next time we mess up we will be a little better to handle it.
So, give yourself a hug, give your loved ones a hug, tell yourself and them you love them and have a blessed day.