Wednesday, 28 September 2016

True Forgiveness

 Someone asked me the other day – I have forgiven but cannot forget the pain and hurt caused to me. Does that mean I’ve not really forgiven?

Let’s examine un-forgiveness. Un-forgiveness is when we harbor thoughts of revenge, retribution and punishment … when we are angry, and full of hate, ill-will, hostility and ill-feelings towards those who hurt us.

If none of these feelings are within us – then we have truly forgiven. As best we can, we have truly forgiven.

Of course, the memory of the hurt and pain caused to us will remain. Perhaps forever. But as long as the memories are not accompanied by feelings of ill-will, then we have forgiven. Every time we remember the hurt should be an opportunity to forgive yet again.

The mind may not forget but the heart forgives.

Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18: 21-22

6 comments:

  1. Victor, you have a way of helping me so much. As you know from our former correspondence earlier this summer, your previous post on forgiveness did wonders. This one was no different. I LOVE how you explain that if we do not harbor ill will and desire for revenge, then that means we have truly forgiven. This gives SO much clarity to me. Thank you for, once again, blessing me so much.

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    Replies
    1. Cheryl,

      Forgiveness is a decision that we make. Not a feeling. We decide that we have forgiven someone. This means we no longer harbour ill-will towards them.

      Of course, the feelings that we have been hurt will come back. So will the anger and bitterness. These are natural emotions we cannot turn off like a faucet. The memories will hurt us once again. And that's when we decide, once again, to forgive once more.

      God bless you my friend.

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  2. Hi Victor! I agree with Cheryl, your words were very clear and true today for me. People say 'forgive and forget' but really, I only have control over the forgiveness part. Memories come back without permission many times, but are they charged with ill will?

    LOVE the image you put at the top of the post. I despise math! Naturally, I'd rather forgive than have to do multiplication tables :)
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    Replies
    1. Hello Ceil,

      I know from experience that the bad memories do come back; and yes, they make me angry once again and bitter. And that's when I have to decide once more to forgive ... as best I can. One cure when the bad memories return is to recite the multiplication tables. Here in the UK we teach them up to 12. Now let me think - 5 X 12 is ... too many!

      God bless you, Ceil.

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  3. Thank you Victor. "The mind may not forget but the heart forgives" is what Pope Francis has been teaching.

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