“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” – Anne Lamott from Traveling Mercies
I read this quote on a forum – I can really relate to it- let me know if it means anything to you.
I used to think that part of the healing process and with it forgiveness meant forgetting it. Discarding it from my life like an old coat that I didn’t need any more and not visiting that painful place again .If I did I had failed yet another failed attempt to move on.
I think I got so used to carrying the pain that I protectively clung to it refusing to let go- that’s how I feel about it at the moment anyway.
But I am not the bad memories, the painful events – it does not define me – true it is an important part of who I am – who we all are. It is that and all the other events in my life that have moulded me to who I am now – to who God has shaped me to become.
Firstly there has to be a commitment to move on – to say that I will not allow events to hang round my neck like a noose any more- To hand it to God and to stop taking it back every time something resurfaces. Its bound to – when ever any of us face a trauma it leaves an imprint and yes wouldn’t it be great if it was completely forgotten but this is real life – its there and learning to acknowledge it as part and parcel of ourselves without dwelling on it , without allowing its shadow to hover around us. And not being afraid to look at this events occasionally if anything brings it back instead of stuffing it into the back of the underwear drawer until one day you realise you cant close the drawer and it all spills out in a terrible mess that is overwhelming.
As Christians we are called to forgive those who have wronged us because if we don’t then how can we ask Our Father to forgive us.
Matthew 6:15 says
But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
If we don’t forgive it festers inside continuing to cause more distress, rarely causing pain to those we do not forgive but causes so much unhappiness to ourselves and those around us- Gods grace is sufficient and the peace restored worth the battle.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
And I think we all struggle with those re-offenders- , those who hurt us again and again – how many second chances are we required to give
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.