“To err is human, to blame it on someone else is more human.”- Unknown
June Hunt continues her presentation (Chapter 8, How to Forgive) of the four stages of forgiveness by discussing stages two and three.
Stage Two: Feel the Offense. We may respond to unjust treatment with anger, outrage or even hatred. Ms. Hunt explains why it is necessary for us to honestly deal with our emotions:
“All our rock-hard emotions need to be excavated rather than allowed to stay buried. Failing to acknowledge and experience pain results in rigid responses: suppression of feelings or outright denial. . . . Without feeling, there can be no healing.”
Stage Three: Forgive the Offender. June observes that it is much easier to nurture resentment than deal with forgiveness. Although the first two stages have laid the groundwork for this third stage, people come up with all kinds of arguments to avoid taking this next step of forgiveness. June presents five:
a. “I shouldn’t forgive when I don’t feel like forgiving. It wouldn’t be genuine.” Ms. Hunt responds that Jesus surely knew if everyone waited until they felt like forgiving, few would ever get around to doing so.
b. “I can forgive everyone else, but God knows I don’t have the power to forgive one particular person.” June emphasizes that the issue is how strong God’s power is within you, not your lack of power to forgive.
c. “Forgiveness doesn’t seem fair. She ought to pay for her wrong! She can’t get off scot-free!” Ms. Hunt responds that it is not our role to determine how our wounder should be punished. God knows how to deal fairly with each person. He will do so in His time and in His way.
d. “I have forgiven, but it doesn’t do any good. He keeps doing the same thing over and over.” While we can’t control what others do, we can control our response to what others do. That doesn’t mean, however, that we allow ourselves to be trampled like doormats.
e. “I cannot forgive and forget. I keep thinking about being hurt.” Forgiving doesn’t give you a case of “holy amnesia.” However, you can close your mind to rehearsing the pain of the past offense.
Today’s question: Which of the five arguments June presents resonate most with you? Please share.
SPECIAL NOTE: Please check out the artist’s comments to the Short Meditation, “Like little children”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Prerequisites for restored relationships”