Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What is the definition of forgiveness?

What constitutes complete forgiveness? This was discussed at my Tuesday night group last night and the answers were varied. It got me thinking. I think of it as more of a journey. For example, if you have a friends that really hurts you and later apologizes, you forgiving them does not mean that you have to pick your friendship up where it got left off. You can forgive someone but choose not to continue a relationship with them. I do think that if you forgive someone and you choose to continue a relationship you can't use that forgiven hurt against them. That is where I failed.

When I caught Daniel drinking the end of March I had still not completely forgiven him from when I caught him earlier that month. I said I had but I was still walking out the hurt so when I caught him again, with the lying bigger then the first time, it was close to the surface and easy to access. I let it destroy me. I have finally given that relationship up. I am done worrying, hurting, struggling, and basically holding his hand through it. I am tired of being the "bad guy". Either he gets his act together or he doesn't. It is not my job to fix him. That can only be done through Him and my husband has to be willing to participate. If he doesn't then there is nothing left to do but move on.

I have not forgiven him nor has he asked for it. I need to stay hurt for a while so I don't move back into the position to get hurt like that...once again.

What do you think is true forgiveness?


  1. I love how well you think things through and how you also take responsibility for your own experiences yet seperate all that from what others are responsible for. You, my dear, are a fabulous woman. Don't ever let anyone convince you of anything less!!

  2. True forgiveness? A difficult subject. I think that in true forgiveness we are able to "let it go". I think that the saying "forgive and forget" may be a little too optimistic. Because I cannot erase my memory. But if I am able to forgive and let it go then, I can go on without allowing that "forgiveness" or hurt to rule my life, consume my thoughts, or alter my actions.

  3. You have been a deep thinker as on late. When I read this yesterday you posed a VERY good question. I couldn't answer it immediately. I had to ponder and think about it. I think so often we can sit in a religious setting and be asked this same question and just rattle off the traditional answers... but it isn't until it truly affects our own life and those we love around us that we truly sit back and think about it... What is forgiveness?
    Forgive my rambling... but these are some of my thoughts I had yesterday as I was painting the bathroom. Forgiveness to me is more than saying your sorry. It encompasses so much more. For example the atonement. Without the atonement and a Savior, forgiveness isn't complete. I hear the term forgive and forget but the forget part is not up to us. The Savior will forget our transgressions but we need to remember so as not to repeat offenses. If we forgot, I don't think we would learn and grow. We do have to forgive ourselves and others, but we cannot forget... but in remembering it does not mean we hold it against others in the future.
    David said something to me in talking one day that made me think. He said, in not so many words, that is is not up to us who will be forgiven... we just have to forgive and let the rest be decided by Him... the only one who knows ALL the details and intents of ones heart. If we decided who is going to be forgiven we are taking away the power of the atonement that was given to everyone. The Lord suffered for ALL sins, and it is up to Him who will be forgiven. It is actually a relief to me that I don't have to be a judge of hearts... I just have to compel mine to love and forgive others no matter what. And that when I do a burden is lifted off my shoulders. I guess true forgiveness to me is allowing myself and others to apply the atonement in our lives. When I try to understand the atonement I realize how much I still don't truly understand its immensity and impact... so I guess I am still learning the immensity and impact of forgiveness. I do know, however, that any attempt at forgiveness is one step closer to mending a broken heart.
    So there is my rambling. If it makes no sense I appologize and blame it on the paint fumes. Thanks for some deep thoughts yesterday. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Have a great night!

  4. SassyKassc,

    Thanks! Thanks means a lot to me. I am trying really hard.


  5. April,

    Agree but when you let something BIG go I don't think the hurt behind it ever completely goes away. When someone hurts you deep it alters your relationship both with them and everyone in your life. It changes who you are. For example, if someone were to rape you and you forgive them there is a certain amount of behavior that is altered forever. You may carry pepper spray or ask someone to walk you out when you work late. I don't think it is bad to alter some behavior. Letting it consume you is where you get in trouble. Agree?

  6. EmmySue,

    Loved your "rambling". You made some very good points. My favorite being, "If we forgot, I don't think we would learn and grow. We do have to forgive ourselves and others, but we cannot forget... but in remembering it does not mean we hold it against others in the future." Everything is a learning experience. Everything. Whether you learn to better yourself or wall yourself up is completely up to you. Walling yourself up though makes it impossible to grow from the experience. It is more then just a wall in front of you it is a ceiling over your head keeping you down. That is why we must forgive. To get us out of that room. Another good point made was about forgiving ourselves. That is ofter completely looked over when talking about forgiveness but, I think, the hardest part. I judge myself far more harshly then I do anyone else.

    I am glad I gave you something to deep to think about while painting.



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