Monthly Archives: August 2015

Why Forgiveness? (Part III): Beyond the Pain


As I noted in my last post, forgiveness does not mean you will simply forget what has happened in the past. What it does mean is that you can decide how much control it will have on your future. Merriam-Webster defines the word forget as “to disregard intentionally.” Again we come back to intentionality. We must choose to leave the pain of the past at the foot of the cross or we will continue to be re-victimized over and over as we allow the bitterness back in.

We must also understand that our ability to forgive may have nothing to do with whether the situation is resolved or all wrongs are righted. If God tells us we should forgive, that means it is something we have the ability to do regardless of the actions of others. In some cases the other person may not believe (or choose not to accept responsibility) that they even committed the offense that hurt you so deeply. This is common in cases of molestation.

This brings up a good point. I have worked with people who were molested in their younger years and now as adults request help and healing so they can get on with their lives. In some instances the perpetrator is deceased. Forgiveness is a key element in our ability to move beyond our pain. But how on earth can we possibly forgive the perpetrator if we have no ability to get restitution?  The fact is God does not make restitution a condition of our ability to forgive. The choice to begin the forgiveness journey resides in the decision you make between God and yourself.

Ephesians 5:1 tells us to “be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us….” We are called to be imitators of God. We are called to extend ourselves beyond our own understanding, beyond our own emotional hurts, and behave in ways that will edify one another and grow our marriages.

Sometimes moving beyond the pain of the past is not directly related to your relationship with your spouse. The pain can come from much further back in your life experiences. The problem with unresolved forgiveness is that it creates a root of dysfunction that infiltrates the garden of your marital relationship. In such cases it would be beneficial to secure the services of a christian counselor in your area. A great resource is (The American Association of Christian Counselors) Remember, your obligation is to bring your BEST self to your relationship. Be blessed!

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Emotions, Forgiveness, Misconceptions, Restitution, Restoration

Why Forgiveness? (Part II): The Misconceptions of Forgiveness

letting go

You have probably asked yourself, “How many times am I supposed to forgive that knothead? It seems like they just keep repeating the same things that cause me so much pain.” Granted, that statement may well define exactly how you feel right now. Your emotions may be stretched tight, and you might not care for the answer. I present it to you with no regrets since the answer is not really mine. Look up Matthew 18:21-22. What does it tell you about forgiveness? The message is pretty clear. Peter had a set number of times in his head before he would be justified in cutting off someone he considered his enemy. Jesus tells Peter that, unlike what the spiritual leaders of the day taught, our forgiveness should be infinite. This is not to say there aren’t times when we should set boundaries to eliminate repeated intentional hurts by another.

You see, in those days the people were taught by the spiritual leaders that those who offend should be forgiven only three times. Jesus tells Peter to have a heart of perpetual forgiveness. Part of the problem people have with forgiveness lies in the messages we are often taught growing up such as, “You need to forgive and forget,” or “Forgiveness is complete when things are made right.”

Some of us believe it is necessary to forget the damage done to us once we have forgiven. We think that otherwise true forgiveness is not possible. Think of forgiveness as a journey that begins with the decision to take the trip. We must decide to move along the path of holiness toward emotional healing from the pain inflicted. Once we decide to forgive it does not mean the emotional damage will simply disappear. At times you may remember the incident that caused the pain, but that does not mean you haven’t forgiven. The remembrance just means the pain has not yet gone away. It may be necessary to give it back to God so that you do not dwell on that pain. It may take some time for your emotional healing to catch up to your spiritual decision, depending on the degree of the damage, but remind yourself that you have decided to forgive and that God will give you the strength to move forward.

In my last post I asked you to consider who you might need to forgive. What prevents you from laying it at the foot of the cross? God calls us to forgive, not because he condones or takes lightly the wrong that has been perpetrated against you, but because He knows the pain and the anguish unforgiveness creates in a person. It prevents you from being the person that God created you to be. I encourage you, take the first step; decide to forgive. Then let God walk alongside you in your journey of healing. You don’t have to do it alone.

I will conclude my posts in this series on forgiveness by focusing on moving beyond the pain…

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Beliefs, Emotions, Forgiveness, Misconceptions, Restoration