forgive, forgiveness, pain

Forgiveness can be extremely hard and the pain feels like it will never subside. What can we do to heal, when the apology never comes? What does the Bible tell us about forgiveness and remorse?



Most of us learn about forgiveness and remorse early in life. In my experience, these two lessons work in tandem best when parents help mediate. (Especially when siblings are involved.) I was taught to apologize to my brothers, my parents, anyone I had hurt, to God. In turn, I learned to forgive those who had asked for forgiveness. As I got older, this lesson became harder. I did not comprehend, as a child, that some day forgiveness would be given even without an apology.

Honestly, I was under the impression that this tandem operation would be much more of a “thing”. Consequently, the less influence my parents had on my daily decisions, the harder it became to forgive and be forgiven. It was a challenging lesson as a child, and it’s even harder now. For me, it’s not the apologizing that’s difficult, it’s forgiving in spite of the pain. Especially, forgiving when the apology doesn’t happen. How do we transition toward a posture of healing when our pain goes unacknowledged?

Fresh into marriage, I learned the hard way that my husband could not read my mind. This is true for a majority of the population… we are not a clairvoyant species. Needless to say, the silent treatment got me nowhere. Indeed, the smarty, backhanded comments did NOT portray the hurt I was feeling. I had to learn how to, clearly and gently, communicate what I was upset about. When I was able to approach my husband in a posture of forgiveness, it made it easier for him to understand my pain and truly apologize.

 

Forgiveness: What the Bible says…

Forgiveness can be extremely hard and the pain feels like it will never subside. What can we do to heal, when the apology never comes? What does the Bible tell us about forgiveness and remorse?

 

Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. Don’t worry about making a good impression on them, but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently.  Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Colossians 3:12-13, TLB

 

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you…

Matthew 6:14, ESV

 

Whoa! We have to suffer “quietly and patiently”, ever “ready to forgive”. Why? God COMMANDED us to forgive, anyone and everyone so that we, too, could receive forgiveness. Commanded. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, and it doesn’t seem fair. For us, forgiveness is usually second in line to our grief and we let it stay there until WE are ready. When the pain subsides, then we forgive. However, God is just and His timing is perfect. FIRST forgive, THEN cast your heartache on the Lord for He will mend you.

 

Give your burdens to the Lord. He will carry them. He will not permit the godly to slip or fall.

Psalm 55:22TLB

 

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

1 Peter 5:7, NLT

FIRST forgive, THEN cast your heartache on the Lord for He will mend you. Click To Tweet

 

Forgiveness can be extremely hard and the pain feels like it will never subside. What can we do to heal, when the apology never comes? What does the Bible tell us about forgiveness and remorse?

 

Forgiveness: What to do…

I’ve found that healing of the mind and heart can take some time. All types of emotions creep in, during this season: anger, bitterness, sadness, self-pity. How do we handle these in a healthy manner? The list below contains methods that I have personally used during times of healing in order to combat these ugly emotions…

Throw some rocks

Living in the country has its perks. I do not recommend throwing rocks if you are surrounded by a lot of neighbors. Otherwise, they will have to forgive you for a broken window. Alternatively, wetting some paper towels and throwing them at your shower wall bears the same result. But, rocks are fun.

Write it out and burn it

Seriously, this is awesome. Get it all out; the messy, fractured emotions. It is pain, leaving the mind, through the hand. Fire destroys the negativity, physically and symbolically.

Exercise

Exercise is self-explanatory. I have found, being physically active can help release ugly feelings. Make sure it is something you actually enjoy doing. Turning on some upbeat music and having a solo dance party, can shake those negative emotions right out.

Wake up early to pray

Oh my gosh! Sleep is so precious. However, losing a few minutes of sleep replenishes our souls. Waking up 10-15 minutes earlier to pray for those who have hurt you, will bless you and them! “ Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” (Luke 6:28, NLT)

Talk it out

Connect with someone you trust and talk it out! Your spouse, a friend, a pastor, a counselor, someone who knows your intentions and your heart.

Don’t dwell

Devotions, scripture, music, podcasts, hobbies, subjects you love; all these things should occupy your mind as to not dwell on the pain. I discovered that the longer I would dwell, the longer the pain stuck around.


The break away…

Just this evening, as I was finishing up this post, God gave me opportunity to follow through on His command. There was a disagreement, with hurtful words thrown around. In that moment, I failed the test. I was hurt and was not quick to forgive. Boy, will I remember this night. Not because of the pain, but because of the shame. I let God down and did not heed his commandment. How can I write these words for you and not live it out?! Praise the Lord for His grace!

What about you? Is there pain getting in the way of you forgiving? In what ways have you coped during a healing process?


If you have found this inspiring, share the encouragement…

Forgiveness can be extremely hard and the pain feels like it will never subside. What can we do to heal, when the apology never comes? What does the Bible tell us about forgiveness and remorse?

ORNELLA BINNI

About the author
Katie
I'm a high functioning introvert, coming to terms with the fact that life is better together. Healing my idea of friendship and relationship has given me the confidence to step out of comfort and into true community. Isolation used to be my identity, but helping others find safety in coming together is what motivates me.

I believe healing and redemption are obtainable for every single person and true peace is found when we accept our freedom in Christ. Creating, listening, and finding common ground are my God-given strengths. I pray I can use these to prove there is light in darkness, hope in despair, and value in imperfection.

Comments (30)

  1. Praying and not dwelling in.what happened is so important! Occupying our minds on what God would have us to do and praying about it helps me the most. Releasing anger through working out is helpful to me as well.

    1. I think praying is the hardest, but it’s the most beneficial! I’m glad you have found healthy ways to cope during these times!

  2. Thank you for the tangible ideas. I love the thought of writing it out & burning it. We did it last New Years Eve about lies we’d been believing, asking God to do something new. Forgiveness frees us!

    1. Thanks, Amy! I learned this trick in my teens when I was going through a hard part of life! I’m glad to hear others do it as well! That sneaky devil and his lies! Amen for freedom!

    1. Thanks Candy! You’re right, we can only clear our hearts in preparation for forgiveness from our Father, if we truly let go of grudges and anger!

  3. Great reminders of what His Word says and I really liked your idea of writing it down and burning it. What a great physical representation to witness! Thank you! And I loved your graphics!

    1. Thank you, Kalyn! One of my favorite things while writing this post, was digging into the word and learning! I definitely learned while I was writing! And, yes, I love witnessing ugliness being burned!!! Try it out!

  4. What a beautiful read. I have found in life that if I don’t forgive, I am the one who continues to hurt (I am super sensitive). I do find it hard at times that I am always the one to forgive or apologize when it’s not always reciprocated. I love your advice about getting up early to pray. I really need to get myself out of bed to do this. Oh and I’d love to throw rocks. I am in the city but luckily I live near the water so rock throwing is possible!!!

    1. Yes! Rocks! 🙂 But on a serious note, I completely understand where you are coming from. I too am sensitive. It does hurt when remorse isn’t reciprocated, but that’s where I’ve learned to lean on my Heavenly Father. (easier said than done) I’m glad you were encouraged! <3

    1. Amen, Emily! I work out, but where I find extra tension release is manual labor! Hehe! I do some heavy yard work, or I deep clean the bathroom! 🙂 Win, win! Triple points if you can workout while listening to faith-based podcasts or music and pray!

  5. “Forgiveness is usually second in line to our grief.” This is such an important point, and so true. I was really encouraged by this post; thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Jordan! That was the lesson I learned and wanted to hit home! So, I’m glad you were encouraged by it!! Be blessed!

  6. I live in the country too – tossing rocks, walking, and praying out loud are good for me!

    God recently helped me forgive someone for years of hurts. I cannot tell you the freedom that flows in my heart now. It wasn’t easy and there is some lingering sadness. . .but a sad heart beats an angry heart any day!

    1. Praise God, Joy!! I have recently learned this lesson too! It’s not easy, but anger destroys us and blocks God from working! I pray for you during your season of sadness. May you feel the healing power of the Lord and the comfort of the the Holy Spirit, who sticks closer than a brother! (Proverbs 8:24) <3

  7. Quietly and patiently suffer is what stood out. Something beautiful comes out of suffering like Him. I so needed this because I am struggling to forgive. Not that their sin is anywhere greater than mine toward God, but it get painful. This is encouraging and I am going to follow some of your tips.

    1. Oh, Ann! I’ll keep you lifted in prayer! It is very difficult; like suffering! I am glad you felt encouraged and I hope that some of these coping tips do help you! <3 Bless!

  8. Such a great post on a topic that is so hard! This very concept is why we don’t force our kids to apologize or forgive each just out of obligation. Obviously, we want them to both apologize and forgive but if they aren’t ready right away we focus more on why they are struggling and discuss their heart and God’s will for them. Our hope is that this process will help them as they get older!

  9. Great tips! This post reminds me I need to exercise more. ^_^
    I think I might try praying in the morning instead of my usual time at night, I think it will help create a good start to the day. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *