Whenever I share something on the internet, I try to make sure it’s 100% safe for public consumption.
So when I saw this prompt, I felt a little stumped. How do I write about this while respecting other people’s privacy?
But then I thought about a pattern that makes forgiveness hard for me, and I decided to write about that.
It’s pretty easy for me to forgive someone when they own what they did and they express empathy and sorrow for the way they hurt me.
When that happens, I just really, really do not feel like hanging on to the hurt; it feels light and easy to let go of.
Sort of like the feeling of releasing a balloon filled with helium.
But what makes forgiveness hard is when the other person:
- doesn’t think they did anything wrong
- does not seem to be concerned about hurting me
- does not seem empathetic about my feelings
- is more concerned about their own feelings than mine
Then forgiveness feels like releasing a cannonball instead of a helium balloon. You try to let it go and it just falls onto your toes!
I’m not an expert at this, but a few things help me in situations like these. Specifically, remembering:
- A lack of forgiveness punishes ME. Forgiveness is good for me, probably even more than it’s good for the other person.
- Holding onto resentment does not bring about any justice. It doesn’t get us any closer to righting a wrong.
- Holding onto resentment gives the other person power over me. It lets them keep hurting me; it lets my freedom be their choice.
- Injustices are not always mine to fix. I can try, but I only have so much power, and in the end, Jesus is going to make all the wrong things right.