If I had to guess the number one reason people don’t forgive it would be they fear that forgiveness gives the stamp of approval to the offense and their offender. They are afraid they will send the message that the offense was “not that bad” or that they over reacted.
At least, that’s what I hear back all the time…especially from abuse victims. I appreciate that. The last thing you want to do is affirm an offense. Our inner “justice-meter” won’t let it happen.
To Forgive is not to Excuse
Forgiveness is not excusing. Not at all. In fact, if you fear sending that message then be explicit with your offender. Tell them that they are forgiven. Tell them that you are moving on. But just to be clear, you still believe what they did was wrong and your forgiveness in no way minimizes their offense.
If you still you find yourself unable to forgive because of the “justice” factor, please consider another injustice; the injustice of holding yourself hostage to your resentment and hatred. Doesn’t it seem wrong that you are the one locked up when someone else committed the offense? Forgiveness unlocks your prison and let’s you move on with your life.
Question: What makes it hard for you to forgive? Leave your comment below.
- Moving On From the Hurt (readingremy.com)
- Forgiving Abusers: Eight Steps to Freedom