Can We Forgive Those Who Don't Repent?
It's true that some people can't be trusted. To say they don't deserve forgiveness is a lie. Betrayal works its poison both mentally and physically. The pain is as real as the human body. That selfish person somehow caused your rising pulse, the tightening chest, the warming blood, the beads of sweat, the shaky legs, and the flow of tears. But that's just the beginning. Your body is naturally reacting to a flood of emotions, your trust is completely demolished, your anger takes over, and a million thoughts cross your mind. "How could they do this? This can't be happening. They only care about themselves. What about me? I trusted them!" And now God asks us to forgive them?
It could be the friendly sales clerk who ripped you off, or your cheating spouse, we are to forgive them. The reason is more than "it's the right thing to do," but it's the best thing for you.
I grew up as the most unforgiving person in the world. In fact, I was proud of it. I thought to myself, "Ha! Forgiveness: that's for people who can't learn how to avoid liars and idiots. But not me! Trusting those people was a mistake, and I won't do that again!" It started as a grudge, then it grew into making self-promises never to trust that person again. Then I had difficulty trusting anyone, and next I formed a habit of judging everyone. I had this lie in my head that nobody could be trusted, and it grew deeper. I then believed that nobody deserved my trust, that nobody deserved me. The pride that grew out of it had a high cost. I didn't like anyone, and nobody liked me. I didn't even know that I was alone. I was ok in my own little world, behind the fortress I built, where no one could enter so that I stayed trapped inside. I saw that other people were happy around me, without me, but I shoved what I saw aside, and told myself, "Their happiness is only temporary." I sank into a depression and didn't even know it. I wasn't cheerful anymore, my language was foul, and people constantly called me out as a critic. Whoever wanted to get to know me was eventually pushed away. I couldn't get along with my parents, and I couldn't keep a boyfriend. It was a cold world for me. When I finally felt alone, I felt that I didn't matter. After all, the world was getting along just fine without me. If my friends and family didn't care about me, I don't know where I would be.
Turning it all around is still difficult for me today. It's understandably difficult to immediately forgive people. But if so much time has passed that I'm no longer angry and just holding onto a grudge, it makes me wonder, what's the point? My bitterness won't prove anything to the person who wronged me. It just makes our differences more apparent. After I became aware of my own trap, I had to change my perception of other people. It's difficult to be aware of negative thoughts, but to find the compassion to forgive and turn positive was the most relieving feeling I ever experienced. I didn't hate anymore. I didn't care if that person was sorry or not, I no longer carried my anger anymore. I moved on. Whatever it is that they deserve is up to God to decide, not me. It was easy to go on with life when I put it in God's hands.
The emotions and physical effects caused by pain is natural, but holding onto them is not. Pray for change, grieve, and then live again. The rest is in God's hands, who never betrays or deceives us. His love is eternal, and He hears your plea. If we all do as He asks and forgive, then we are free from the bondage of hate.
Created about 1 year ago