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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why is It So Difficult to Forgive?

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hat causes us to be resentful and unforgiving? Every time someone offends or harms us in some way, they disregard a right we believe we should have. It is hard to release something we believe we have the right to and this causes conflict. Why is forgiveness so difficult?
Sometimes it's not about rights but we are upset because we didn't receive something we wanted or saw something we never expected. When we refuse to forgive, we claim to be right. This keeps us stuck. The more we dwell on what is owed us or what we want, the angrier and frustrated we are.
Un-forgiveness is like that. The more we dwell on the offense or what we should have gotten, the more it is like a car or a truck whose tires are stuck in the mud. We spin and spin and never get out.
The good news is we can get unstuck through forgiveness. We can call for help from wise counsellors and God. They can be like the tow truck. They can come lift us out of that rut so we can get on the road again and make progress to our destination.
When we forgive, we give up our rights to have things the way they should be and instead to accept the way things are. As long as we hang on to either our rights or the way we want things to be, we can't move on.
In order to let go and go forward, it is helpful to deal with our disappointments. Some trespasses are small and we can let go quickly. Others wound us deeply. In those cases we need to acknowledge the loss and the resulting grief. Our hurts and resentment are usually justified. Grieving in a healthy way allows us to process the anger and the heartache. Recognize that this can take time depending on how serious the offense was.
Once we let go, we find relief from the pain of what happened and we can look for ways to redeem the situation and bring good out of bad. We can benefit from the lessons learned even in negative situations and often be able to help others.

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