How do you forgive people who have hurt you badly? I know that forgiveness is important, I've been reading passages from the bible and have prayed for help to forgive. Is forgiving someone but still having no contact enough?
What happens if you hold onto your anger is that it actually harms you. The person you are angry with doesn't know what you are going through.
You can also forgive but not necessarily forget.
However, thinking about what they did to you over and over again does a lot more harm to you than them.
Haven't they done enough to you? Why waste any more time on them? Haven't they stolen enough of your precious time already? Stop thinking about them and look forward.
I don't think about them much at all however something happened today that brought it all up again and now I can't sleep. I haven't reacted to it as I once would and try to tell myself to let it go, think kindly of them.
I've not long found my faith and it's turned my life around. I just feel this is an important hurdle to get past.
I am struggling to forgive. it eats me up inside. I know I need to forgive. I ask God for guidance all the time but I'm stuck In a miserable cycle.
Ok, I am afraid that you need to go on a Mindful course. It will help, honestly. Ask your GP for a referral so that it is free. Why should you suffer any more over what these people did to you?
You are wasting your precious time on THEM when you need to look forward to your future.
Life is extremely precious and unfortunately soo short.
I was abused as a child but enough is enough. I am not going to give my tormentor another second of my time as he has atolen enough of my life.
When thoughts try and come into my head about what happened to me I refuse to allow them to be there as I owe it to myself to be HAPPY.
You owe yourself some pleasure and happiness in life sweetheart.
Your mind controls your body. Take control, don't let your abusers Rob you of the time you have left.
Forgiveness can only come in the light of Christ's forgiveness of us. If you think of the story of the person who owed a large debt to the King and how the King forgave him, but then the debtor would not forgive the person who owed the really small debt and the King was not pleased "I forgave you all that debt and yet you would not forgive your fellow servant who owed the small debt". (Matthew 18:21)
Now, being new in the faith you may not fully understand quite how much God has forgiven you, sometimes we dont (like to) think of ourselves as sinners. But the fact that God is even looking at us, with all our sin, and thinking of the fact that God has washed us completely clean and ready to come into His presence for me is enough to come to an understanding that whatever anybody has ever done to me is insignificant compared to my sin before God. And I like to think of myself as a Good Girl.
I find it helps me to think the unkind actions of others being due to flaw in them - they have made a mistake, reacted badly, due to incorrect thinking. We all make mistakes although some mistakes, obviously, can hurt more than others.
Forgiving them just means you don't seek vengeance. You don't have to see them, in fact this action might be best if you suspect it would put yourself and them in a situation where further conflict might arise (especially true if they are unrepentant). There is nothing wrong with doing this.
However forgiving, as the previous posters have said, gives you an opportunity to let go of your hurt / anger /upset.
Forgiveness does not mean that you suddenly think nice thoughts about what someone has done to you. Nor does it mean that what they did is ok or that you have to become friends again or even have anything to do with the person who has hurt you. You don't have to tell someone/anyone you have forgiven their actions or the conssequences of their actions. IMO it is not turning the other cheek to be slapped again, but it can be turning the other cheek, away from the person who has wronged you so they cannot do it again.
Forgiveness is not for them it is for YOU. It is a chioce to stop allowing youself to keep replaying the hurt so you can live a life free of the ugliness of the deeds of others.
This helped me
In forgiving you can move from hate to indifference. If you can get to having no feelings about someone that is a signficant movement and is what the result of forgiveness feels like.
Dont be fooled by the idea that forgiveness is generous or warm and fuzzy and all embracing of enemies. It is a postiive step for you to move to your life free of their actions. If you can see it as a positive life affirming choice it becomes a bit easier. But the point in time when you can do this is not fixed and hurt needs time to recover before you can be ready to look at it objectively. It takes as long as you need.
I love what Oma has said about forgiveness being in the light of how God has forgiven us.
Forgiveness isn't about letting the other person off the hook or saying 'it's ok, I don't mind' or anything in that vein. It's not making yourself into a doormat or a martyr, but is a lot deeper, as pp have said it's about setting yourself free. Forgiving someone doesn't mean that that person is set free from the consequence of what they did, but your action in doing so means you can be set free, if you see what I mean. There's so much power in it. And I've also found that thinking kindly on those who hurt us can be an incredible thing - yet the hardest thing, too. I know this is a mindfulness thing as well as a Christian thing, and it makes some kind of sense - that deciding in your mind to think nice thoughts about a person can change a lot of things. It can change how you feel and can actually change how the other person reacts, particularly if you pray for them (I have found this, especially where dd was being bullied - we all saw amazing changes due to us deciding to forgive, think kindly and pray for the bully.)
I know it's counter cultural to think this way, but it really can bring such liberation for you. And I think that sometimes we just have to decide to do it - and that may not necessarily mean we feel it. I have forgiven people from my past but it took me a while to feel that I had - I had to almost reiterate it, keep saying 'I forgive them.' Eventually, emotions caught up (they won't always, depending on what is being forgiven - it can be an incredibly difficult thing to do, a real act of the will)
Perhaps don't think of it as a hurdle, but a step along the journey. Think of Christ stepping it with you, beside you, guiding and holding you gently through it rather than you having to take a huge leap which you cannot necessarily imagine or cope with at this stage. Take it slowly - deciding to forgive can be a process, not just a thing that happens instantaneously.
Thank you, all replies have really helped. I understand that god forgives us so to not forgive others is hypocritical. Being mindful of my actions and thoughts in relation to those that caused me hurt is helpful too as I have used mindfulness in similar ways to deal with things like anxiety.
I think my reluctance to forgive has only been due to the thought that it might need to be expressed and that would bring a lot of conflict back into my now mostly content life.
The last few years have been the most difficult of my life so far but I am very grateful as the happenings have changed me and also brought me to God. Since then my life has turned around and this is one part of my past I feel ready to leave now. That requires forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not need to be expressed if that brings conflict back into your life. You can just decide for yourself that you will no longer hold on to the old hurt and move on. You can write on a piece of paper: I forgive x for the y hurt they have done me. I pray a blessing on x. Then you burn or bury the piece of paper and turn your mind away every time you think of x or the yhurt they have done. And you will be free....
I don't need to forgive. I can move on, hold no anger and be happy, but I don't have the need to forgive.
So what does unforgiveness mean for you four? Do you seek vengeance? Or wish ill on the person you have not forgiven? Because that is what I would assume unforgiveness involves, according to my own understanding, but you say you can be happy and let go of anger whilst holding onto unforgiveness, which is confusing.
Easy. I don't dwell on wrongdoings, in fact they rarely enter my head. That's what I mean about moving on. I don't seek vengance, I have no hatred or anger. But I wouldn't piss on this person if I saw him on fire. I don't wish him well but neither do I feel the need to hurt him.
I think I see, as in you would not actively help but would not actively harm either.
It is really hard to say how we would react in a crisis I think though, my gut reaction would be to say I'd help but if someone was utterly convinced the person in question would go on to do serious harm to others I could understand why they might not.
I was moved by the testimony of the christian supply teacher who has forgiven the pupil who stabbed him. I have no faith but have long believed that we need to actively understand the where's and whyfore's and history of people that hurt us although I say that as a person who, as of yet, has been able to use this model to come to terms with loss/pain using this model. Knowing what I do about psychology I appreciate that it's not a level playing field and that some are more likely to behave in ways that we deem harmful than others.
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