Where does forgiveness begin and end? When the guilty ask for it? When the one betrayed says they forgive? Are the words enough?
Here are some ways to solve deep-seated unforgiveness when you feel you can’t talk about it to anyone.
Write a letter to the one who betrayed you, whether it’s a perpetrator of sexual abuse, a friend who ruined a friendship, a family member who split the family, or a pastor you felt did wrong. List all your hurts, the feelings of betrayal, and then pray over the page. Add two or more scriptures. Place the letter in an envelope and seal it. Mark your calendar to read the letter a year (or two) later. After opening it, ask yourself these questions:
- Have I given this pain to the Lord?
- Have I forgiven this person, whether they deserve it or not?
- Have I taken care of my heart issues and asked God to help me move forward?
- Have I left the problem with God?
- Do I need to share the problem with a counselor, pastor, or friend?
- Is it possible to move on?
Is the sin of adultery unforgiveable? What about the sin of gossip — speaking untruths against another person? What about . . .
If someone committed an unconscionable act against you, do you have the right to hold bitterness and anger toward that person? If you chose not to forgive, what does it do to them? What does it do to you? What did Jesus say about forgiving? He said to forgive numerous times — 70 x 7. Can you count that far?
John and I rededicated our lives to the Lord and moved forward. What about you?
— Katie Jo Demaris