It’s impossible for me to forgive on my own. As a survivor/victim of sexual abuse, I have stored up a lifetime of anger, and hatred toward those who abused me and hurt those I love. I’ve felt completely justified in my anger, that it was righteous, because the abuse was heinous and evil. Until recently.
I’m doing a workbook that addresses forgiveness and asks some questions that cut right to the heart of this matter. I told God straight out: I hate him!!! He hurt me. He also hurt those I love and doesn’t deserve forgiveness. He deserves to rot in prison.
I love that we can be grossly honest with God, because after all, He already knows what’s in our hearts, it’s helpful for us to be honest with Him.
As I told God the ugliest parts of my heart and how I felt about this one person, it was as if the Holy Spirit whispered “Jesus died for him.”
But I don’t want to forgive him God! I want justice! “Jesus died for him.” I paused for a moment. If I refused to forgive this one who abused me, then I’m setting myself above Jesus, who died for his sins and mine. I’m setting myself above God. I didn’t want to do that.
Yes, I would forgive, and trust God to deal with justice for the wrongdoing. Enough pain and evil has been done. I will not be a prisoner to unforgiveness anymore.
I’m not saying this is easy. It’s truly an act of our will and our feelings may take time to follow. The prayer pictured below is helpful for me in the forgiveness process. You may find it helps, too! I have a long way to go and God is still at work in my heart every day. But freedom sure is worth the hard work!