When You Can't Forgivethrough David Nelmes
Before you can forgive what you believe somebody has done to you, you must first fix what you have surely done to yourself. Your desire to be forgiving has become clouded and needs to be healed.
It was a dark night and the attack upon you was vicious...or perhaps a cherished person in your life abandons you for another...or perhaps school-mates or co-workers are very cruel in their treatment of you. These are three of what could be endless trillions of reasons to be upset...endless trillions of reasons to not forgive.
It's easy to say "You must forgive.", when the situation that requires forgiveness does not directly affect you. It's easy to preach these words, but focus and clarity in thinking are required to practice these words.
Copyright 2006 Riverdeep Interactive Learning Limited, and its licensors. All rights reserved.
Before we go on, it can be helpful for you to understand that everything I ever express to you or provide as suggestions, does not mean that I have mastered that problem or situation. It only means that I am aware what the best steps are and I am sharing this information with you. I also struggle with practicing those things that are best, just like you, so don't be so hard on yourself when you feel you cannot do something. This situation makes you no different than anyone and it's the reason why the rest of us are here for you...and why you are here for the rest of us.
When you can't forgive somebody or something, you are not hurting that person or thing. The only result of not forgiving, is a perpetuating sadness within yourself. Unforgiveness sets your mind in a place where you will gravitate to more things that are sad...to more things that are not peaceful. The lack of forgiveness leads to increased misery in your life and in the way you see all the things in the world. Everything you see will be tainted by your misery and the things you see and experience will be twisted in your mind and will serve as evidence to you that the world is responsible for your pain, but not you.
Knowing that you should forgive, how do you even attempt to forgive somebody when every cell in your body is crying with hate and screaming for vengeance? Even when you attempt to force yourself to say the words, "I forgive you", you know you are lying and have accomplished nothing other than having made sounds with your vocal cords. Words mean nothing when the heart is not in sync. God is neither fooled nor upset by this. He is just patiently waiting for your heart to open for this issue to be healed.
A very important lesson I learned was to "live on the level you believe". For example, if you have a severe toothache, spend a moment in prayer and do your best to be open for healing...but if nothing happens, do not be upset, because this is not God punishing you or testing you. It is simply a matter that you really do not believe you will be healed, so instead of writhing in pain, do the thing you do believe...take the pain killer or go to the dentist, but don't punish yourself for not believing. Live on the level you do believe so that you can restore your peace and regain your focus and return to a place where you can work on being open to increase the level you believe.
If you can't forgive, step back a moment and stop wasting your time trying to do something you don't believe you can do. Before you can forgive what you believe somebody has done to you, you must first fix what you have surely done to yourself. Your desire to forgive has become clouded and needs to be healed. Simply clear your mind for a moment and focus on what you know you can do or what you know is true for you. When you say "I forgive you" and you know it is not true, you are just wasting your time. Instead, try to find something that is true. Say "I would rather that I could forgive", because that is the truth and you can only start healing from a point in which you truly believe.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit is for the correction of errors in how we see things, how we experience things and for what we believe is true. When you know you would rather forgive, but just can't...what are you really doing? You are believing you can't forgive, and therefore, you can't forgive. There is actually nothing wrong with your ability to forgive...you just don't believe you can and so your mind is not open to allow this to happen.
Sit back. Remind yourself that God wants what is best for you. He sent Jesus to help open your mind and he sent the Holy Spirit to guide your mind, when it is open. Be open to see that he is looking to help you remove any discomfort in your life and that he wants your mind fully healed and he wants you to be able to communicate with him fully once again. When you are open for inner healing, the answer is always "Yes" because that's where all our real problems originate and that's the only place where real change can actually occur.
Basically, most of our problems stem from us disbelieving things that should just naturally occur. We are created in our creators image. He is perpetually forgiving and so are we. It is your 100% natural ability to forgive without any hesitation or condition, just like your creator. Our errors in thinking make us disbelieve those things which should be totally natural for us.
Consider this. All the miracles Jesus did, were not great feats of God's powers or just special moments to rarely occur again. Those miracles were simply the direct result of Jesus doing what came naturally to him, because he didn't believe he couldn't...he just knew he could. We are no different than Jesus...we just don't believe it and so we don't often achieve those things that occurred so naturally for him...but eventually we all will.
When you can't forgive, when you can't find peace, when you don't want to get out of bed anymore and when you hate your job, don't get trapped into thinking you have to be brave by sacrificing your true happiness and lie to yourself about what you know doesn't feel true to you. Don't pretend to forgive if you can't. Don't pretend to be at peace if you're not. Instead, start with a real thought that is true. 'I would rather that I wasn't so sad'. 'I would rather I didn't hate my job'. 'I would rather that I wanted to get out of bed'. Hand those thoughts over to the Holy Spirit. Don't focus on what you don't think you can do, but focus on what you would rather you could do.
For example, if my thought was 'I can't forgive', I would pray, "This thought that 'I can't forgive', I hand over to you to correct. I would rather I could forgive". Similarly, if my thought was 'I can't get out of bed and have a good day'. I would pray, "This thought that 'I can't get out of bed and have a good day', I hand over to you to correct. I would rather that I could get out of bed and have a great day"
Upon handing over these errors in thinking, the Holy Spirit is invited to intervene in this part of your mind, and where he goes, healing and greater perception of truth follows. The errors in thinking will cease to exist and that part of your mind will be healed. There will be no boom...there will be no flashing light...there will be no burning bush. What will occur is a gentle and peaceful reorganization of your thoughts. There will not be a spike at the moment where you feel the miracle of new thinking. Instead, later that day, you will just notice that you are now seeing that problem differently. You will see that you can now move forward to the next stage of your healing because now you can forgive, or now you want to get out of bed or now you no longer hate your job.
Now, with your mind clear of the lies of what it can't do, you can now more readily move on to what it can do, which often consists of identifying more and more areas of your life where you believe you can't do something. This is fine and most likely, necessary. Hand over all your can'ts to the Holy Spirit and then you will discover, that no matter the situation, you can.
So, when you think you can't forgive, you are simply mistaken and have simply forgotten how. The Holy Spirit will help you remember that You can forgive...and you will be at peace again.
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