hey i know this is my third blog on forgiving...sorry :-)
So. forgiveness, eh? it requires a decision for us to forgive. forgiving is a choice we make, and the emotion follows. Forgiving someone doesn't mean not feeling what they've done anymore. It means choosing to start the recovery process, and not holding onto the pain or the betrayal in order to hold it up for all to see. Flaunting the deed to draw attention to oneself and condemnation upon the accused. That's what we do, isn't it? I know when I've been hurt, the last thing i want to do is let go of that, because then who is going to agree with me and share in my righteous anger?
"righteous anger"? The day we start calling down judgement from heaven on those who have hurt us, as my pastor says "we'll get our fingers burned". Everyone of us is selfish and lashes out at times, i know i do, but then it is with such great surprise that we find out our friends sometimes lash out at us too. How dare they? that's a question and a half. how dare any of us.
But that doesn't help me out in what to do with this whole forgiveness thing. If i want to regain a friendship, you're right- saying "i forgive you" may not make it all better. But it releases the HOLD that we let that unforgiveness have over our emotions, and we invite God to heal. And he does.
Time is a great healer, they say. But not without God, and not without us letting go of our
unforgiveness. When we do, God can heal us. And yes, it takes time, but sometimes not as long as you think. Nothing is impossible with God.
The situation that prompted the past two blogs is on its way to a complete recovery now :-) and what is so funny is that the act which i was so angry about and had such trouble forgiving, when put in perspective, pales by comparison to some of the hardships this person has faced. So i had no right to take the high ground there. But unforgiveness, when held onto like that, has a way of distorting the truth. Make the choice, say the words- both to the person and to God, and God will heal the pain. It may take time, but He is faithful.