5 Misconceptions of Forgiveness

So you forgave them. Why does it still hurt so much?

Maybe we have been thinking forgiveness is something it’s not.

(and some cutie pictures of my baby girl with no correlation to the topic other than something cute to look at 🙂 )

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We’ve all heard it. Give it time. It’s only a matter of time. Time will heal. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Time isn’t going to fix anything. Time will never take the place of forgiveness. Forgiveness will always be a choice we have to make. Forgiving is the choice we make to “stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.” Forgiveness is a choice. Whether we make it today or in 20 years, it will still have to be a choice. Time only lengthens the pain. Time is our biggest enemy. We can choose TODAY to begin healing.

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We’ve all heard the cliche, “Forgive and Forget.” Why is this something we say? It makes me so mad that we feed this to everyone and give it out so freely when we are seeking forgiveness. Usually, the party that hurt, is the same party expecting a “fresh start.” When they hear the words, “I forgive you,” they translate it to “they forget what happened.” But that is not fair at all! We forget what we had for dinner last night, but we do not forget the pain of a broken heart. When we forgive, we are choosing to treat them in a way that shows them love through the pain. This is going to look different for each situation, but if we focus on what love is, we will be able to act accordingly.

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They hurt us and we wait around sulking in the pain, day after day, month after month, year after year. Why? When we are little, we are conditioned that forgiveness is a cause-effect. The person that hit us on the playground is brought over by an adult and forced to say, “I’m sorry.” Then they look at us and we say, “I forgive you.” The end. So we continue this pattern forever. Um, woah! But here’s the part they don’t teach us–we can forgive without an apology! We are free to do our part at anytime in the healing process. How much easier it is to forgive someone when they admit their fault, but how important it is for us to forgive even when they don’t admit any fault. It’s for our own happiness we forgive them. If we do not forgive, the only other option is to hold bitterness against them. Bitterness hurts, it holds us prisoner, it makes us hard. Love allows us to heal.

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So we forgave them, shouldn’t the pain go away? This one is especially confusing if we have bought into the lie we are supposed to forget. Since we cannot forget, we will remember from time to time. Out of the blue the pain will stop us in our tracks. Anger will arise in our hearts and we will find ourselves, once again, reliving the memory. When we find ourselves in this moment, we have a choice to make. Continue dwelling in the hurt, or forgive again. We may have to forgive them everyday (or multiple times a day), but overtime we will find ourselves forgiving quicker. We will realize the freedom that comes with forgiveness is more appealing than walking around in the chains of bitterness.

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“It takes two to tango.” Just because you forgive them does not mean the relationship will continue as if it never happened. Only when the other party apologizes is there possibility for restoration. Trust was lost and it cannot be rebuilt without both parties acknowledging the wrongdoing. We can forgive them and seek relationship, but if they do not take responsibility for their actions, the relationship will not be restored.

My hope is you find freedom while reading these misconceptions. Which misconception is the easiest to believe? Have you found freedom in forgiveness? 

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17 Responses to 5 Misconceptions of Forgiveness

  1. Marla says:

    This is absolutely fabulous. You hit the nail on the head. I also get frustrated sometimes with the “forgive and forget” saying. They make it sound so easy- just put it behind you and forget! But perhaps we can choose not to dwell on it day-in and day-out. And perhaps when we do remember it, we won’t feel the same bitterness or resentment. Forgiveness is a process, not a one time evented and you highlighted this perfectly. Loved your thoughts!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you so much Marla! I used to feel guilty for remembering a hurt… I would think “Why can’t I just forget about it!” Well now I understand… it is crazy to think we will forget things like that. But we do have the power to choose how to handle what we do next. It’s so freeing. I appreciate your feedback! Glad to hear when others can relate.

      Like

  2. Natalie Brenner says:

    “Bitterness holds us prisoner.” Yes it does! Thank you for this post. It’s so true and you are sharing the best things to share.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. humblygrowing says:

    I love this girl! Boy, do I have stories of forgiveness and God’s help! This couldn’t be spoken (written) any truer!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nishita13 says:

    I won’t lie, the reason I read this post was because of your princess! She is a wonderful little girl. Reading the post was realising the past. Bitterness hurts, it holds us prisoner, it makes us hard. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. WOW, this post really changed my perception towards forgiveness. Thank you so much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you so much for sharing! It is very encouraging to read a comment like this 🙂 Forgiveness doesn’t get enough credit these days.. which really makes it harder on us. I’m grateful to be able to share!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I recently read a story of a family who had experienced incredible heartache and needed to forgive in order to heal, but the person in the wrong had died without apologizing. I’ve thought a lot about this–how you forgive without an apology. Such a difficult thing to do, but you are so right! Forgiving brings such needed freedom. I really, really love this post. I think I’ll be referring back to it from time to time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      What a great story of finding healing. Thank you for sharing! Forgiveness is something we all need to spend a little more time doing. I can only imagine all of the freedom as the bitterness leaves. We are trapped in the hurt of someone else, and they can have a clean conscience if they so choose. How messed up is that? It’s not fair whatsoever… but we get to choose to live in forgiveness and freedom. I’d much rather be that person 🙂 I have so enjoyed getting to hear from you! I hope you are having a beautiful Thursday as this week is quickly coming to an end!

      Like

  7. jisbell22 says:

    Reblogged this on jisbell22.

    Like

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