Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Forgiveness Is Not Pretending You Weren't Hurt

Laura Petherbridge says, "Forgiveness is such a complex issue during divorce because it appears as though you're letting the other person get away with the offense. If you forgive, it feels as though you are saying, 'My wound isn't real. This stab to my heart and the pain of rejection isn't significant.'"

Your wounds are real, and they are important to God. He never wants to see you hurt. You do not need to make excuses for your feelings or pretend to other people that you were not hurt that badly. This behavior does not solve anything. Be honest. You were hurt, and it's lousy. But physical and emotional wounds should not keep you from forgiveness.

"How do you forgive when you've been hurt so badly?" says Jan Northington. "Forgiveness comes in knowing the facts and being willing to let them go. Forgiveness is the only thing that allows you the kind of peace that will turn your mind from injustices in your life toward God."

When you forgive your former spouse, it does not release your former spouse from being responsible for his or her actions. It does release you from orbiting around those hurtful events.

"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).

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