Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Forgiveness...

I had a very interesting conversation today about forgiveness... mainly because I'm having some issues with forgiving some people in my life. Here's the theory: We in America have a very distorted idea of forgiveness.

If someone steps on your foot and they say 'I'm sorry' what do you say? Most of us say 'oh, that's ok'.... well, really? was it ok that they stepped on my foot? Heck, no... and what I really mean is 'your forgiven and I won't hold it against you.' Now if you keep stepping on my foot, I will probably still forgive, but I will choose not to be close to you... and that's ok...

Now, this story was told to me as a means to help me understand why I am feeling so bitter towards a particular person... why I am having difficulty forgiving. It's because I don't want to say 'what you did to me was ok' and to a certain extent by saying 'I forgive you' I feel like that is the message I am sending. So... rather than send that message... it's easier to stay emotionally detached... easier to not forgive.

So... I guess what I need to say to a couple of people is: I forgive you... but the way that you treated me was not ok... and although I can forgive you I will not be treated this way. Perhaps we all could learn a lesson from this...

jessica

5 comments:

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

That's a really good way of looking at it, and that's probably why so many people have such a problem with forgivness. It also goes along with trust, if you don't trust that the person won't do the thing to you again, it's harder to forgive them.

Iris said...

Awesome post, Jessica

I have recently written a post on my AlterBlog, Imperfect Perfections about Forgiveness, also two on Apology. Your points here make perfect sense to me. I think I have fallen into this same mindset, that to forgive is to say what was done was okay.....sometimes, it just isn't

The Best Family said...

so true.... powerful thoughts... the phrase "forgive and forget" has made us look at forgiveness differently... when someone hurts you, it is never OK, but yes, you can forgive. This is a hard concept. Clint and I have been going to counselling since our issues last September, and this is one of the things I learned that I have to do. Really it does that other person no good if you "forget" because they still need to be held accountable... but you arent supposed to bring up old issues either... so where do you draw that line??
Jessica, I do pray for you and Robert. This whole situation breaks my heart.... and I do not know the details. I will say that even many of those who seem to have it all together really dont. We were one of those "together looking" couples until September when Clint went forward at church and laid it all out there... it has been a rough road for us, but with the help of our powerful God, we are making it thru. I just pray for patience and understanding for you... that God will open your heart (I know, again) and allow you to see what miracles he can do for you and Robert. I do not judge you for any decision you make by any means! But I just wanted you to know that I am praying for the 4 of you!!
love,
summer

Amy's Gang said...

Jessica, I'm sure you remember the issues I had while I lived there in good ole A! My dad and I have not spoken a word to one another in 8 years. What he did to my mother and the girls has had a lasting and forever impact on their lives. Things ther will never be the same. Their hearts are still not healed. I think I have forgiven him, however, he knows what he did to our family has severed the trust and loyalty I had for him forever. I will not allow my children in his presence. I DONT want them to know him because I don't want them to see what kind of man he is. I also do not feel like I am nonforgiving to him either. Having said all that, you are totally right. You can forgive someone, yet NEVER forget. I had someone tell me once, someone that I love and listen to, tell me that I am showing my children how NOT to love. I have really had a hard time with that. Maybe she's right? Anyway, I'm rambling! This issue is heavy on my heart also, so email sometime and we'll talk a little more personal!! Love ya and praying for you!

Looney Mom said...

Yup. That's exactly it. It's not really ok, but we should forgive. I think you said it well.

BTW, I'm SOOO behind on everyone's blogs. Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I just READ all your previous posts but didn't comment (the earring thing sucks - why do the innocent get in trouble for others' stupidity?!?). I'll try not to be so scarce!