I spent the last two months talking about forgiveness; what it is, how to do it, and how to be forgiven. Now it’s time to answer some questions that you’ve asked.
Q: What about the people you love who don’t want you to forgive?
A: It’s always harder for your friends and family to forgive your offender. They don’t understand the dynamics of forgiveness. They feel the need to protect you fearing that what happened will happen again. See the good in what they are trying to do. Give them permission to let go and not protect you.
Also, let them know that forgiveness isn’t excusing or trust. That’s what they fear…that you will allow yourself to get hurt again. Assure them that’s not true. You are simply choosing to not get back at your offender and let the past control your future. Once they understand this they will be more at ease. Maybe even write them a note thanking them for their concern and outlining what I just wrote.
Q: When does “love” not equal being used, manipulated, and mistreated and when is it being giving, humble, peace-loving, etc. Sometimes the lines are very blurred!
A: This is why a good understanding of boundaries is so important. Everyone needs to know who they are and who they are not; where they stop and the other person starts. Love is giving to others out of an abundance not being depleted by others. If you are being depleted then a day will come when you no longer exist. You will be used up. That can’t happen. You need to have a monitor on what fills your tank and what depletes it.
You also need to monitor who is stealing from your tank or tanking it for granted. Many people allow themselves to be taken advantage of because of low self-worth. They need the affirmation of others, even if others are taking advantage of them. Or they sense an obligation to give to be considered a good person or “good Christian”. Be careful with this. If you allow one person to totally drain you then how can you be available to love others? You might want to ask a close friend who knows you what they see happening. Get another perspective. Seek counseling for perspective as well.
Question: What questions do you have about forgiving or being forgiven? Leave your comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll answer them in a post or the comments section.
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