forgive, forgiveness, pain

Forgiveness: Six Things We Can Do When the Pain Lingers

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

Bold: Living Like Wonder Woman

We all have the ability to fight for love and goodness. We all have the ability to change the world. This post looks to a role model to find out how we can achieve this.



I have loved Wonder Woman even as a little girl. There are stories told of how, at the age of three, I would spin around as I turned into the strong beautiful woman ready to fight evil. I still have a scar on my scalp from when I, as Wonder Woman, was chasing my brother, the villain, and ran into the corner of the wall (I’ve never been super graceful).

This past summer, my husband and I went to see the new Wonder Woman movie. I was once again that little girl. I left the movie theater ready to fight evil. I was ready to fight for love.

Esther is the perfect example of a “wonder woman” in real life. She was in fact very beautiful, but it was her love for the Lord that made her radiate. When I picture Esther, I picture Wonder Woman! It may have been the 12 months of beauty treatments that got the attention of the king, but it was her character that won his favor.

Beauty may get the attention of others, but character is what will win their favor. Click To Tweet


Living like Wonder Woman…

She sought advice.

Esther 2:15-17: When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

She did what was right because it was the right thing to do

Esther 2:21- 23: In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

She used her influence to help others, rather than herself

Esther 4:13-16: Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

She was patient

Esther 5:4-8: And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.” Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther has asked.” So the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared. And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”

She was bold when the timing was right

Esther 7:1-6 So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Esther was truly a wonder woman who I want to learn from!



Lord, I desire to be a part of your plan. I pray that I will be humble, and seek advice. I pray that I would be a woman of integrity. I pray that I will recognize the influence that I have and use it wisely and with care. I pray that I will be patient and wait upon you until it is time to act. And I pray that I will act boldly when that time has come. Amen.

 

 

Sean Brown

All scripture used is from the English Standard Version.