For those that consider themselves Christians:
I totally understand that we as Christians are to forgive as God forgives, which to me means there is no limit to the number of times we are to forgive someone. My questions are:
1. How do you truly know you have forgiven someone who has hurt you to your core (again)?
2. Is it ok to still feel upset/hurt/angry over the hurt or does that mean you haven’t really forgiven them?
My pastor/counselor told me that by not forgiving, I’m basically saying that I am more powerful/almighty than God. That God’s judgement/punishment is not enough. It was a truly eye-opening moment for me.
I’ve said the words, “I forgive you”. I’ve prayed for forgiveness for myself, and I’ve even asked my husband to forgive me for not forgiving him sooner. But I still catch myself getting angry or depressed about the whole thing. And the trust has been shattered…I’m not sure what to do about that either.
Some words of wisdom I have received on this topic:
“If I question him (in my mind) then I remind myself that he is not that person anymore and I have to trust that he’s telling the truth. It’s sometimes very hard, but forgiveness doesn’t come easy. After all, Jesus gave his life for the forgiveness of our sins. There are times that I get upset about how he hurt my entire family with his addiction, but I think that’s normal. For me, the hurt serves to remind me of the trials we have been through as a family and how we have grown from it”.
” My priest once told me that when we sin, we write down our sins on a little piece of paper and hold it out to Him to take. Not only does He not take it, but He throws it away. It is us who go pick it up and carry it around with us. When people don’t forgive others, we are not only holding our little bits of paper, but we’re holding copies in large print of others’ sins. We keep these papers nice and crisp so that every time we touch them we get paper cuts reminding us of the hurt caused. It’s when we shred these papers and stop carrying them around with us so that our hands are free to build whatever future we’re going to have, either with or without the person we forgave”.
Both of these pieces of heaven have given me insight and peace. I know that I have forgiven my husband, and I know that it’s going to be a struggle with myself for a while. I am going to be fully relying on God’s strength and mercy to move me forward because He knows I absolutely can’t do it on my own.