Hey! So, this one is gonna be a long one, but I think it will be encouraging if you struggle with this!
If you have been around for any amount of time, you will probably encounter “Christians” claiming that, “If you’re a Christian you should forgive him. If you don’t forgive him you’re not a Christian and you’re going to hell.” Hopefully, you haven’t heard the last part, but sometime’s it’s a ba-blammer ending tag line to make you feel like crap.
Well, here is something to debunk that.
Why is it their choice when you forgive?
Pot’s calling the kettle black.
That’s between you and God!
Why do these Christians think that it’s their business when you forgive someone who has hurt you in the past? Forgiving someone who betrayed you absolutely is incredibly hard to deal with, whether or not you were abused. Any kind of betrayal is so hard to deal with.
1.) Betrayal: Shm, these Christians would rag on you for that saying that, “Oh, Jesus was betrayed by Judas and He still forgave him. Don’t you want to be like Jesus?”
Um, guys, in case you forgot, Jesus was the man who never sinned! Jesus is perfect, absolutely precious Jesus who took the cup of Wrath and suffered for all of us sinners. Us. Sinners. The humans! We are only human! We aspire to be like Christ, but we are in fact not Christ. There are those who would claim they are, which takes us back to the, “There will be many false prophets.”
Keep in mind there is only One Messiah who can save the damned.
2.) I can absolutely assure you when people say this, it is a manifestation of what they are struggling with. When they see other people struggle like this, it is an opportunity for them to alleviate themselves from the shame they can’t hide. We all struggle with forgiveness. Don’t let them tell you differently. We are all guilty of the same thing. We can’t be God, but we all can be with Him one day.
3.) Forgiveness. This is a subject that I have been dying to write about for a long time now. I felt as if I wrote about forgiving someone I would be a hypocrite (refer to #2). But finally, I am able to forgive my grandfather who hurt me too.
It was a long time ago when I was 13. He stuck his hand down my pants trying to give me money. He didn’t reach down my panties, just my pants and tried to shove the $20 bill between the edge of my pants and the waistband of my panties.
That thrown on top of: raging hormones, abuse father, court always looming in the near future, figuring out who I was supposed to be, and school made for contempt down the road.
A few days ago, last Friday, I remember my mom saying that my grandfather is going to be coming over. I went to the YMCA and spent over two and a half hours there, avoiding him. I ran into my bear but that wasn’t enough to balance the emotions. As I got home into my neighborhood I saw his crappy little car there.
I moaned and pulled around into the cul de sac and parked near my favorite neighbor’s house. I had been listening to Air1 that day and they were playing Losing by Tenth Avenue North
I started to think,
“You know, this is my home! I shouldn’t be afraid of my own home because of the persons in it!”
I got miffed.
“I want to be able to go home and feel safe without having to wait a long time.”
Then I realized the only way to do that was by forgiving.
I have always had trouble coming to terms with what that meant. The last time that I forgave someone was my “friend”. He was like a brother to me but he was also very sexually attracted to me. I knew he was also sick and so I succumbed to his pressure of ‘Send me a pic of you…with just a towel on.’
But I texted him.
No way in Hell I was going to text him! First off he wouldn’t know how to open the damn message, secondly read it, thirdly care! He swears up and down on the moon and sun that he doesn’t remember what happened. He’s said I’ve made and enemy with him. He doesn’t understand why I won’t see him!
So I prayed until I heard something in my heart. I felt Jesus by the open window of my car listening to Forgiveness by Matthew West (the one posted above)
Jesus told me,
“He’s right you know.”
“Of course he’s right.”
“What do you want to do?”
“Move on, let it go!”
“So be it, you have to forgive him.”
“I know.” I groaned.
“You’ll feel better afterwards.”
“But he doesn’t deserve forgiveness.”
I heard the best comeback,
“By who’s standards? Yours or Mine?”
I shrunk down.
“So, he deserves forgiveness.”
“Good, let me help you.” My shepherd said.
“Just lay it down.”
I wen’t back and forth for a little while until I came to the conclusion that I didn’t even have to see him to forgive him or anything. I don’t ever have to see him again. Forgiveness is between you and God, because it’s truly God who forgives.
Last night around this time I brought it up to God again. It had been a weird kind of week last week and had objected about praying. I kept pushing Him away whenever He drew near to me. So I sat on my bed like an indian and prayed, just closed my eyes and said what was on my mind.
“Lord. Jesus, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me recently. I need you tonight. I don’t want to be alone again. I feel so far away, so…detached. Jesus, please, I need you now.”
I waited a few seconds and said,
“Please come find me. Meet me here because I can’t make it.”
Then I felt something.
Figuratively, he sat in front me. He usually will sit beside me, but he smiled and put his hands on my shoulders. I hugged Him and apologized. I focused on my detachment, which is much better tonight. I don’t feel so far away at all. Finally, I remembered having the conversation with Mom how I wanted to forgive.
Jesus told me that it doesn’t have to public. I’ll help you right now if you want.
“I want to forgive him for hurting me, Jesus. Help me.”
“Ask your heart, first Hailey. Are they all right?”
I asked and there was the girl that I helped. She was standing in the kitchen, nodding, frowning as others appeared.
‘I think we’re ready.’ She gave the affirmative to the others to make sure that it was all right. We all nodded, at least 25 of us. Some represented more than one and some were singular. We were all sort of lined up around the kitchen area.
I heard Jesus say in my heart to all of them who were intently listening,
“Lay it down, give me your heavy heart.”
I see all of them take out a weight from no where, the first one from her pants where the incident happened. There was a brief Chain, but that chain was now gone. The weights were made of lead but did not have a number on them. Some were smaller, some were larger than the others but they were all lead.
Simultaneously, we all set those weights down.
Then Jesus said,
“Stand on it. You’ve owned it now.”
We stood on them, signifying that we had conquered the fear and that it was over. About three seconds later, we all jumped off of the lead weight and hugged each other. We jumped up and down, cheering because it was finally over. All that pain I felt, all the shame, the awkwardness someone got close to that private area. It was gone.
As we were celebrating our victory over the fear, the stupid man who hurt us, Jesus walked around the kitchen. He was smiling and picking up the weights. As he did, he picked them up as if they were actual weights, pull them to his chest, hips, waist, wherever and they disappeared. Jesus carried all that weight and suddenly it was gone.
As soon as I did do that and it was on the floor, I felt that I could breathe better!
Forgiveness is not something that can be rushed into or forced. Forgiveness needs to come first from the heart. When you are absolutely ready and when you are absolutely sure you want to move on, you will. Besides, God will be right there through it al…like he always is.
Don’t be afraid of people. People lie.