Forgiveness How do I start?

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by Elisa, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Elisa

    Elisa Member

    I would like to ask all of you a question about forgiveness.

    How do I start? And if the person/people do not repent - does that mean I still forgive?

    What does God say about forgiveness? I know some wise people on this board tell me that forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation.

    I am struggling with this issue and do not want to put myself in harms way in order to forgive. I have explained my situation in a few other posts.

    Also I am in need of a Christian counselor (if anyone knows how I can find one let me know). I thought I could deal with a troubling family issue - but I am not succeeding.

    Thank you to all of you who have been so supportive to me I am grateful - without your voices I would have been lost!

    Elisabeth
    [This Message was Edited on 10/18/2007]
  2. jinlee

    jinlee Member

    I am no expert about forgiveness, just will say what helped me. I had reason to not forgive but discovered how much not forgiving was keeping my abusers tied to me and preventing me from healing.

    I had to somehow forgive people who had done abuses over 40 years' time and that is hard to give up the anger and bitterness I had collected.

    What really helped me was someone who counseled to, for instance, see my mother as a woman, not my mother. I then was able to relate to why she did what she did. I did not change her attitude but it sure changed mine. I forgave, did not excuse her actions but released me from all the anger and some of the hurt.

    I find it takes some time to forgive, sometimes weekly I have to forgive again. Again, forgiveness does not mean involvement with the person or saying it was alright what they did.

    I have to believe that God will judge these people and punish them better than I could and for longer.

    For finding a therapist, which I recommend, look online for your city for therapists' names and then look them up online for (type in your state)board of psychologists (or therapists). This site tells if they have any issues or patients have had problems with them, where they went to school, etc.

    Well, hope this helps some. I am still trying to find forgiveness for some, so obviously I am not an expert in this field. I just know it was so good to release myself from the anger and bitterness.

    Good luck....

    Jan
  3. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    You need to take this to the Lord, I always forgive people, but my problem was/is 'forgetting'.

    When someone will not repent of what they have done to you, it is an awesome challenge to forgive them, I know, I lived with that misery for close to 30 years with my sister-in-law.

    I won't go into the story, its over with, and I do thank God that I FINALLY GOT RID OF THE HATRED I had for her, as she did me some terrible wrongs with my only brother, and my family, including one of my children. I am saying this much to give you an idea of the terrible person she was (and probably still is).

    I fought forgiving her almost throughout my christian life, she was my 'thorn in the flesh' for all those years.

    How I finally forgave her, when my dearest love of a brother died, so did my parents.

    After my brother died, she called me all day long, everyday for two years (she had no one else to speak too, stange of all people she had to turn too, was the one she hurt the most, ME). Yet, I still could not forgive her, although I was kind, and totally understood her grief for my brother, as I was also grieving for him, I never refused a call from her, and let her talk for hours.

    I used to walk around the house, and all the ugly things she did to me, said about me, turned my Mother/Brother/Son against me would keep running through my mind on a daily basis.

    Well, I started to simply put, pray everytime I had these thoughts come into my mind. I must have prayed a short pray fifty times a day, each time I would think of an incident she did to me throughout all those years, I would say simply: 'Lord, let me forgive her, and please release me from this burden'.

    Finally, after a period of time, I felt the 'relief' come over me, now this went on for a good year, so I did not get there in a day or two of prayers, it was an ongoing battle of the mind, my mind and the devil/demon or whatever you want to call it that caused her to be so ruthless with her jealousy of me and my family, to push me out, and take my place in everyway human.

    I finally stopped speaking to her, but as the Lord is my Judge, I DID finally have that relief, forgiving her. I do not see her, or speak to her (there was no argument), but thank my Lord for that heavy burden I carried all those years of that hate. Its been about five years now, and that is one relieve I can truly say it totally off my heart and mind.

    Now looking back on it all, I did not hurt her one bit, but only myself holding that hatred that I could not let go of for all those years.

    No, she was not a christian, and no, she never apologized for what she did to me and my family. She, till this day has no remorse.

    But I truly feel sorry for her now, and do pray the Lord will save her someday.

    I am totally free of the hatred, and it was the worst burden I had to deal with in my christian walk.

    That is the only person I have ever truly hated in my life.

    You and the Lord are the only ones that can work out what has been done to you, ask the Lord to help you forgive whoever it is you have this burden for (I have not read your others posts, so do not know the details).

    It is hurting you, not them, believe me this is the truth.

    I will pray for you, as this is the second post you made that the Lord lead me too! I can't read them all, no one can, I only read those that the Lord 'points out to me', and this is the second time we had/have the same problem!

    Our Lord Jesus Christ died for OUR sins, and He was sinless, we are the sinners. If He can fogive us, we can forgive others. Right?

    The only difference is we are earthbound and human, so its almost impossible for us to 'forget' our hurt, but we can forgive, even if most of us can't 'forget'. Our Lord 'forgets'.........

    IF its a person you do not need to have around you, then its fine if you do not see them, but let go and forgive.

    Let them deal with the Lord with what they did to hurt or harm you. Its between them and the Lord, not you. THEY have to answer to Him.

    We can hate the sin they do, and still love the sinner.

    I sure hope this helps, if you want Scripture on forgiveness, let me know, I am tired right now, its 3am in Louisiana right now, and I do need to get some sleep.

    Take care, God love you and I have had you in my prayers by name since I read your other post.


    Shalom, Shirl

  4. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Hi Elisa,
    I understand where you are coming. Forgiveness has always been incredibly hard. I've been through the same thing. To make a long story short, I was really hurt by a guy that I dated. He took advantage of me and lied to me. To make a long story short, he basically attempted to rape me. I believe that the only thing that kept me from being raped was my going into the bathroom. This was when I was in college. As if that wasn't bad enough, the time was even worse. My grandfather (my mom's father, who I was very close to) and just died about 3 weeks before this happen. This guy knew that. He knew I was incredibly vulnerable and he used that to his advantage. When I first met him, I thought he was a great Christian guy. But later, I found out he was anything but. But by then, it was too late. The damage had already been done. This guy never expressed any remorse for what he had done. In fact, he told me it was my fault. He never even acknowledged that he did anything wrong. He is no longer in my life. But I have to tell you, forgiving him has been an uphill battle. Even though this happened over 7 years ago, I STILL struggle with intense hatred and anger towards this guy. Hatred is not a word I use lightly. But I can honestly say that I hate this particular guy. I hate what he did. I hate the pain he caused me. I hate that he refused to acknowledge he did anything wrong.

    I think the first place to start with forgiveness in a situation like this is to realize that forgiveness is not going to come quickly or easily. It is going to be a struggle. You will think you're making progress, and then BOOM, all the feelings and hurt will come back again.


    There are a couple of books that have really helped me. One is "Healing is a Choice" by Steve Arterburn. There is an excellent chapter on forgiving people who don't want or deserve your forgiveness.

    Another book that has really helped me is "Stomping Out the Darkness" by Neal T. Anderson and David Park. This is actually a book geared toward youth. There is an adult version as well. I believe the adult version is called the Bondage Breaker. I have read both. But even though I am adult, I still refer to the youth version. Even though it is written for you, I didn't read it until I was in my 20s. It helped me so much. One of the things that helped me the most is that Dr. Anderson gives a series of steps towards forgiveness. I have found these 12 steps incredibly helpful. I hope that you will as well. I really encourage you to pick up a copy of "Stomping Out the Darkness" for yourself. But here are the 12 steps
    12 Steps Towards Forgiveness by Neal T. Anderson and David Park.

    1. Write on a sheet of paper the names of the people who hurt you. Then describe the specific wrongs each person committed. For example, rejection, gossip, abuse, hatred et.

    2. Face the hurt and the hate-write down on you feel about each of these people and their offenses. It is not a sin to be honest before God about how you feel.

    3. Realize that the Cross of Christ makes forgiveness possible, fair, and right.

    4. Decide that you will bear the burden of the other person's sin. This means that you choose not to strike back at the person in the future.

    5. Decide to forgive. Forgiveness is an act of the will. You may never FEEL like forgiveness. But you can choose to forgive regardless of how you feel. Your feelings may change with time, or they may not. But if you wait until you feel like forgiving, it will never happen. Trust me on this.

    6. Take your list to God and pray the following "I forgive (name) for (specific offense) Spend as much time as you need on each person.

    7. Destroy the list-you are now free! Do not tell the offender what you have done. This is between you and God ONLY! If even the person who hurt you is no longer in your life or dead, you still need to forgive.

    8. Do not expect that your forgiveness will bring about major changes in the other person. Instead, pray for them.

    9. Try to understand the people who have hurt you. I once heard a saying that has really stuck with me over the years. "Hurt people hurt people." Read that again. Allow it to sink in. Often, people who deeply hurt us have been deeply hurt themselves. Sin doesn't just affect the person offended, it also affects the person committing the sin.

    10. Expect positive results of forgiveness in yourself. In time, you will be able to think of the person who hurt you without hurt, anger, or resentment.

    11. Thank God for the lessons you have learned and the maturity you have gained as a result of your decison to forgive.

    12. Be sure to accept your part of the blame-Confess your failure to God and others. Realize that if you have done something to hurt or offend someone else, it is your responsiblity to go to them to resolve it. It can be incredibly tempting to wait for the person offended to come to you. But resist the urge.

    As I said, I found those step incredibly helpful in my own life. I can attest to the difference they have made in my own life. But this is not a cure-all. It's just a place to start. Forgiveness is a process. It is NOT a one-time event. I have found that you may need to go through these steps more than once. Especially if the hurt is deep. You must allow yourself to truly feel the hurt and pain. Acknowledge that the offense and wound is real. Do not deny it. That is something I am struggling to learn myself right now.

    Anyway, I hope this helps. Forgiveness is not easy, but don't give up! With God's strength and help, I know you can do it! I will be praying for you!

    God Bless,
    Lms526
  5. caffey

    caffey New Member

    Forgiveness starts as a decision to forgive the person who wronged you. It is a process. Also remember you are not responsible for their response. If they choose not to forgive you not your problem.
    Ask God to help you but I would right down between you and God what happened and how it much it hurt you and that you forgive them. I would then tell God you are sorry for your part in it and tell God that you forgive them. I would then right this person a letter and tell them that you forgive them. You don't have to mail it or give it to them unless you want to. The last thing is to ask God to take away the pain from the incident and ask Him to heal that part of you that hurts so bad and that you are so angry and betrayed. This takes time and seek out help if you need. What ever you do don't keep talking about it neg. Put it in God's hands and it will get better in time. Just remember God says if we don't forgive He won't forgive us. Some day if you allow God this will be a distant memory.
    God Bless.
    Cath
  6. MIssAutumn

    MIssAutumn New Member

    Hi Elisabeth,
    You have some good advice already given. One thing I learned was that unforgivenss is a huge weapon of satan's to use against us. God forgave us for ours sins against Him so much so He had His Holy Son nailed to the cross as a propitiation. we can not any less than to forgive someone.
    Praying does help, God will either erase the memory of the hurt - which he has done for me or He will soften the memory so it doesn't bring hurt any more, he's done that one too.
    Ask God for help, tell our Lord what this person has done to you and how hurt you are, ask His Holy Spirit to guide you in forgiveness. when this comes to mind pray for the person, that hard to do but sure helps.
    The 2 commandants that are most important to our Father is to love Him with all your heart and to love your neighbor. there's a few Scriptures Christ said about forgiveness and how serious it is that we do, even if the other person doesn't repent - that's not up to us to punish them but God's counsel.

    God has put me on a journey this past month on really believing what He says about His love for us and when we can take into our hearts this wonderful promise as a truth forgiveness is so much easier.

    One of the writers I have been reading actually has phone counseling - Robert McGee is maintaining a limited counseling schedule that is conducted by phone. After over 20 years of counseling people, he has found that much can be done via phone augmented with other activities done via the internet. If you are interested, call (800-460-4673, option 2). He wrote Searching for Significance- finding self worth through the eyes of God


    Sarah
    [This Message was Edited on 10/12/2007]
  7. MIssAutumn

    MIssAutumn New Member

    Elisabeth,
    There's a b site/forum I visit for help and pray besides this one, both are great. Today Pastor Frangipane's message is about forgiveness, he really has helped me to get closer to our Lord.
    http://www.frangipane.org/
    Sarah
  8. Pottersclay

    Pottersclay New Member

    I totally agree with Shirl. Forgiving is hard...BUT it is easier than the forgetting part.

    The most important thing is taking it to God. The Lord will help you through the pain.
  9. MIssAutumn

    MIssAutumn New Member

    I just got back from a SOZO ministry. SOZO is the Greek word translated “saved, healed, and delivered.” Sozo contains the whole package of being made whole or well.
    One of the doors that needs to shut so we can walk out to healing and wholeness is unforgiveness. Christ in the parable in Matt 18:21-35 tells us that our Heavenly Father will do the same to us - being handed over to the torturer - if each of us does not forgive his brother from your heart.
    Forgiveness releases you from the strongholds. It does not mean the person being forgiven is excused or what they did or said is okay. Nor does it release them from any action from God. Forgiveness is what we do so there is no blockage between us and God. This is God's second most important commandment. And yes we do have to still have contact with the person or forgiveness isn't there and when we do forgive from our hearts God will take the sting away from what they said or did.

    This was one door I didn't know was there until the Holy Spirit showed me I hadn't forgiven someone, I thought I had but that it was okay to not want to have contact with them. that is so wrong. And having the person repent is up to them and God not us. We can really forgive and forget. It isn't easy but with God all things are possible.

    Sarah
  10. yellowstrawberry

    yellowstrawberry New Member

    I find holding resentments is more damaging to me than it is for the other person.
  11. Elisa

    Elisa Member

    I guess I have to work on my fear of these two people first before I can work on forgiveness.

    I just am emotionally and physically afraid of them and am pressured at every event to be around them - so I don't get to attend most birthdays and holidays.

    I know I have to forgive them - and I understand that it does not mean reconciliation - but I need to find a way to feel safe first. I really feel they are capable of really hurting me more...

    Does that make sense?

    I am so grateful for all your kind, caring and amazing help. I will read and re-read it for some time!

    Elisabeth
    [This Message was Edited on 10/18/2007]
  12. skikat

    skikat New Member


    HI ELISA, THIS IS MY FIRST TIME OF FINDING THE WORSHIP BOARD. HOW LUCKY I AM ! THESE PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN YOU GREAT AND DIFFERENT WAYS OF FINDING FORGIVENESS WITHIN YOURSELF FOR OTHERS.SHIRLS ESPECIALLY WAS LEAD OF THE LORD AS I HAD CONFIRMATION AS I READ IT. I AM A MINISTER NOW AND HAVE BEEN FOR SEVERAL YEARS, BUT I REMEMBER WHEN I FIRST GAVE MY LIFE TO THE LORD TOTALLY AND FOREVER. I HAD BEEN WOUNDED AS DEEPLY AS A WOMAN CAN BE WOUNDED BY OTHERS. AND NO MATTER HOW CLOSE I TRIED TO WALK THE PATH, I COULD NOT KEEP FROM HATING THOSE 3 PEOPLE. YES, I SAID _HATING-. IT WAS BREAKING MY HEART BEFORE THE LORD THAT I COULD NOT FORGIVE THEM , FOR THEY WERE STILL DOING IT.

    ONE DAY , THE LORD SPOKE TO ME AND HE SAID"JUST GIVE IT TO ME". SO, I GOT ON MY KNEES BY THE BED , AND I SAID ,JESUS, YOU KNOW THAT I WANT TO BE MORE LIKE YOU THAN ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD, BUT YOU ALSO KNOW THAT I CANT FORGIVE WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO ME. DESTROYED ME. SO, I AM GOING TO ASK YOU TO BLESS THEM . YOU KNOW I DONT FEEL IT BUT YOU SAID TO DO IT. AND I AM DOING IT. AND EVERYTIME I GOT ON MY KNEES , I PRAYED FOR HIM TO BLESS THEM, TAKE CARE OF THEM, ON AND ON. I DIDNT MEAN IT AT ALL IN MY HEART. I JUST WAS HONEST ABOUT THAT WITH HIM. BUT HE WANTED MY OBEDIENCE. AND ONE DAY, AS I WAS PRAYING ,I ASKED HIM AGAIN TO BLESS THEM AND THEN THE PRAYER STARTED TO GET LONGER AND LONGER AND WHEN I AROSE FROM MYKNEES, IT WAS GONE!!! I TRULY FORGAVE THEM IN MY HEART AND WANTED HIM TO SAVE THEM.

    THAT WAS MANY YEARS AGO BUT I LEARNED THE LESSON. THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT ARE AT WAR WITH EACH OTHER. SO USE YOUR WILL AND LET HIM DO HIS PART. HE WILL DO IT. I GAURENTEE YOU HE WILL. I NOW HAVE THE MOST FORGIVING SPIRIT YOU CAN IMAGINE. MY YOUNGEST SON EVEN SCOLDED ME FOR STILL LOVING PEOPLE THAT CRUCIFY ME SOMETIMES. THESE TIMES WILL COME BUT , CAST YOUR CARE UPON JESUS, HE REALLY DOES LOOK AT THE HEART.I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU, AND I NEED PRAYER FROM ALL OF YOU FOR MY HEALTH. GOD BLESS YOU ALL , AND DONT FORGET TO ALWAYS "PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM". SHALOAM-SKI-
  13. kellyann

    kellyann New Member

    Hi,
    May I ask: How does one become a licensed ordained minister? That is so wonderful! Are there schools for it?
    Could a person do it online, I wonder?


    Take Care! Jesus loves you and so do I!
    Kellyann
  14. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I have struggled to forgive my step daughter who caused both myself and my husband so much pain in the last 15 years. She is no baby, but simply chose to be very mean to me. No reason, other than she decided she would never accept who her "daddy" married. We have been married since 1990.

    I kept quiet all the time and amazingly, my husband never stood up for me. That hurt the most.

    I have lived to see her go through some of the most painful experiences you can imagine. They say "what goes around, comes around". I honestly believe when someone intentionally behaves in a evil way, with no conscience, it comes back to them.

    My step daughter would never repent or admit what she did because she doesn't think she did anything wrong. Is it shocking that some people don't even realize they are so bad?

    She feels she has the right to say or do whatever she feels to others, irregardless of the hurt. On the other hand if you say the slightest thing to her, she explodes.

    Luckily she lives over 600 miles from us but it is still very tragic for the pain she has caused. It caused me to have a very bad depression.

    I have let go of my anger through prayer. She is not a Christian and has never been to church. I have to wonder if that is why she acts like she does.

    I must remember to keep up my guard around her because as my 80 year old uncle puts it, she sneaks up on my blindside. Because I would never hurt someone like she does, I never see it coming from others. It is hard because my husband is not well and is put in the middle.

    I think forgiving is very difficult and if you are able to do it, you still have to protect yourself with some people.






    [This Message was Edited on 10/21/2007]
  15. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    from Daily OM

    "An Empowered Perspective
    Importance Of Forgiveness
    When someone has hurt us, consciously or unconsciously, one of the most difficult things we have to face in resolving the situation is the act of forgiveness. Sometimes it feels like it's easier not to forgive and that the answer is to simply cut the person in question out of our lives. In some cases, ending the relationship may be the right thing to do, but even in that case, we will only be free if we have truly forgiven. If we harbor bitterness in our hearts against anyone, we only hurt ourselves because we are the ones harboring the bitterness. Choosing to forgive is choosing to alleviate ourselves of that burden, choosing to be free of the past, and choosing not to perceive ourselves as victims.

    One of the reasons that forgiveness can be so challenging is that we feel we are condoning the actions of the person who caused our suffering, but this is a misunderstanding of what is required. In order to forgive, we simply need to get to a place where we are ready to stop identifying ourselves with the suffering that was caused us. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, and our forgiveness of others is an extension of our readiness to let go of our own pain. Getting to this point begins with fully accepting what has happened. Through this acceptance, we allow ourselves to feel and process our emotions.

    It can be helpful to articulate our feelings in writing over a period of days or even weeks. As we allow ourselves to say what we need to say and ask for what we need to heal, we will find that this changes each day. It may be confusing, but it is a sign of progress. At times we may feel as if we are slogging uphill through dense mud and thick trees, getting nowhere. If we keep going, however, we will reach a summit and see clearly that we are finally free of the past. From here, we recognize that suffering comes from suffering, and compassion for those who have hurt us naturally arises, enhancing our new perspective."

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You don't forgive for their sake, you forgive for your own sake.

    Forgiving doesn't mean that you erase the entire scenario out of your head. If you try to do that, you can easily become the victim.

    I suggest that you ask yourself, "what life lesson did I learn from this?'

    You don't forget what was done to you, just plain forgetting will cause you to keep repeating this pattern.

    You remember, but you come away with more life experience. You learn new ways to handle the situation when it pops it's little ugly head again. You learn from the past and apply it to the present and future.

    When you forgive the other person, you reclaim your power. Whether the other person repents is out of your control. You focus on learning from the experience and taking back your power. As long as you walk around with the hurt inside of you, you are allowing the other person to physically and emotionally drain you.

    I don't know the specifics of your present family issues. You first forgive for YOUR own sake. If you sense danger or any other negative vibrations, that doesn't mean you are just supposed to allow yourself to be hurt again. You change the rules of the game.