There is a lot of unforgiveness in divorces and I will get ex-spouses who are getting counseling/coaching asking I want to forgive them for the affair they had, but does that mean that I have to be friends with them or reconcile? Forgiveness doesn’t guarantee you reconciliation. Many times it’s not possible to fix a broken relationship for various reasons, might be the person who you want repair a relationship has passed away or is unable to communicate (dementia, in jail, etc.) Or they have no interest in doing so. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to reconcile with them, it’s your call! Remember, forgiving someone is for you so you can let go and move on with your life. You may forgive someone and their behavior may not change or they don’t care. Remember your letting go of the unforgiveness so you can bring peace, joy, happiness and stability back into your life. You will no longer allow the other person to control certain parts of your emotions and hurt you any longer.
OK, so we pretty much covered what you need to do with your unforgiveness. Now let’s talk to those who need to go and ask for forgiveness. This is a hard place to be in. It can cut to the pride issue, either you really want to make amends and get things right or live with the guilt and not do a thing. I suggest that you go to the person you have wronged and let them know you have wronged them. When you do, be sincere and show humility and sorrow for your actions and how you have harmed them. If you know the wrongs you have done them, then address those and ask that person to forgive you, and make no excuses owe up to your wrongs. There may be times when someone will not forgive you. Give them time to think about it. I know it’s hard and embarrassing at times to say “I’m sorry”, but the peace and relief that it will bring will amaze you. This is an area in our lives that we need to take care of business and repair relationships. Life is too short to carry grudges and hate each other.
In closing, I see many relationships restored because one person is willing to let bygones be bygones. They have a heart for making things right. It can be a daunting task and one that requires a heart for people. Forgiveness is just not a one time effort, it’s a lifestyle. We all have been wronged and will be as long as we are in relationships with each other. Let’s face it this journey we are on will have bumps in the road. People will disappoint us and let us down. I face that fact all the time as you do. Do I focus on what people have done to me, no! Do I dwell on people who fail me, again No! If someone continues to hurt me then I have a decision to make, do I allow them to be users of my emotions? That my friends is the path we must decide when we are in relationships, whether it be family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers. The art of forgiveness is up to you…
“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat……Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established………Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation………Forgiveness does not excuse anything………You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness……”
Wm. Paul Young,
“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
Lewis B. Smedes
Are you harboring unforgiveness and want to get rid of the heaviness it causes you? Do you have someone you need to forgive and just can’t let it go? Do you need to seek forgiveness and need to know how and when? Are you wanting to mend a relationship with a friend or family member and have hard feelings that you’ve been carrying for some time? If you answered yes to any of these questions give me a call at 303.456.0555.
It’s definitely a hard place to be in. Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight. It usually takes time, a lot of time for some to do this. A lot of relationships fail because of not being able to easily forgive the other of it’s wrongdoings. I guess we just don’t have to force ourselves, if it happens, it will happen.