Forgive and forget?
Too often today we hear, ‘I can never forgive that so-andso. He’s out of my mind for the rest of my life.’ Mate, that’s definitely not the healthiest course of action, and it doesn’t work anyway. You won’t forget the pain that was deep and long, even if you think you have. Somewhere, someday it will raise its ugly head and bite big-time.
We need to nail the bitterness once and for all so we can become more real in who we were created to be.
One of my mates is a counsellor now living in Australia who was forced off his land in Zimbabwe, and he experienced terrible things – people gunned down right in front of their loved ones and other horrors. His own family has suffered tragedies that most of us can’t imagine in nice, safe Australia. He has had a lot of learning and practising at forgiveness.
He says forgiveness of the really big ones mostly needs to happen layer by layer by layer. The operation can take time.
So don’t panic if you can’t just click your fingers and forgive in one hit. Hang in there and know that step by painful step you can be free from this. You may lose the occasional battle but you don’t need to lose the war.
You can do it! Open up and let it out.
We need to give up the need to get even. That’s forgiveness.
We need to let go and experience freedom as a champion and let the Big Fella take care of it.
Even if you don’t want to believe in God, you can have a red-hot crack at forgiving someone. Find someone you can trust to help you let go, layer by painful layer. Sometimes it will take a long time.
There will be some things from the past that you can’t sort out. Maybe the person is dead, or they don’t want to sort it out with you, or it wasn’t even their fault, it just happened. Hanging onto those kind of hurts, thinking about them again and again, is as much use as trying to saw sawdust; it just uses up energy and doesn’t achieve anything. You can’t saw sawdust – you’ve got to let some things go.