As we head toward the Fall festivals, including Yom Kippur where we are to concentrate on forgiving and forgiveness, we might as well be honest: It's HARD to forgive some people! I personally have had a lot of trouble over the years forgiving my parents who gave me away at birth; and my mother who (when I was 9) unceremoniously jerked me out of my happy foster home away from the only parents I had ever known, and forced me to live in her unloving, self-centered home with her and her new American husband, a raving pedophile who sexually abused me for many years.
I also have a hard time forgiving some relatives who have said and done some horrific things to Bill and me and dumped us after we stopped supporting their ungodly ways and money-grubbing habits; and also some who pretty much shun us for reasons they’ve never bothered to disclose….
On one hand, I WANT to hold grudges against all these people because, in all honesty, their past ungodly or “chilly” behavior has had a very negative effect on our lives, and so they don’t deserve to have a relationship with us now. On the other hand, I feel sorry for them because they don’t know YHWH/Yeshua and I would take them all back in a heart-beat if they ever attempted to reconcile.
The only stipulation would be that they have turned their lives to God and stopped their sinful and/or hateful or arrogant behavior and desire to have a REAL relationship with no “strings attached” (i.e., don’t constantly have your hand out wanting us to help you financially or “do for” you ad nauseum, because that one-way street was CLOSED a long time ago!). I’m done with one-way “gimme, do for me” and lukewarm relationships where the “other side” shows no appreciation and makes absolutely NO effort to be in our lives in any way, except when they want something. Bill and I are not ogres! We will give you the proverbial “shirt off our backs,” but do NOT presume you have the right to make endless demands of various kinds, or have carte blanche to our bank account!
So, how to handle my feelings for the upcoming Yom Kippur? Well, the parents who hurt me are all dead and gone, and there’s nothing I can do except to let the memories of their evil deeds stop ruling my life. I “honor my mother and father” because I readily admit I’m here because of them and I’m grateful for that; but nothing says I have to have “loving memories” of them or anything else. What I do have to do is “forgive them in my heart,” and move on (Matthew 6:14-15 and 18:35; Mark 11:26).
Same thing goes for those who are still alive and have hurt us in one way or another. Yes, memories of times gone by still hurt, but I will not allow their “baggage” to destroy my present, nor hinder my relationship with God! I readily and wholeheartedly forgive everyone who has hurt me; I ask forgiveness for anyone I might have ever hurt in any way; and I pray that we may all one day reconcile. But if we can’t, then I wish you well and will keep turning you and your memory over to YHWH/Yeshua.
I recently read this wise saying somewhere: “Feelings are like plants. Don't water them and they wither away to dust. So too, let your grudges go without any pondering for a short while and one day you wake up and the feeling is all gone.”
Thank you so much for your honesty.
Again I find that our life stories have many parallels. Each year my husband and I wonder what we are to do with the feelings we have as a result of very similar circumstances. We have welcomed back some, with truly open arms, only to be forgotten and disrespected the minute they leave our home.I could go into further detail but as you said a plant without water soon withers and dies, so I will follow your advise. It is not easy and some things done are so very hard to forget, but we have decided since we are both in our early sixties we will just move foward and enjoy what ever time we have left without letting these memories weigh us down. Reading this blog only helped to know we were on the right path.
Again, thank you for your honesty and for all the work you both put into this website. I love reading your comments and teachings and I always pass them on to a friend who doesn't have great internet connection up in the Smokey Mts.
Many blessings, Joan
Hi Joan! Thank you so much for taking the time to write! Yes, my intention with this was simply to let people know that it's hard for humans to let go sometimes. It all depends upon the circumstances. The bottom line is that, in order to find true peace, we have to force ourselves to "give to God" those things we have no control over, and just let those proverbial chips fall where they may. If we don't, then we allow the people who hurt us to continue hurting us, across the miles and across the years. Scripture tells us to "not look back" - and here are just a few scriptures:Delete
Philippians 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Genesis 19:26 But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Again, thank you. I am always quoting Genesis 19:26, but it is nice to be reminded of these other verses. It is easier to do when we're speaking of friends or acquaintances; when it is coming from close family there is the hard part. The cuts go deeper.ReplyDelete
I think I will write these verses and post to refridge so I can see them as we come into the High Holy Days. That should help give both of us strength if or when we start to give into the pain.
Thank you, L'Shannah Tova!
Amein, sis! May YHWH be with you! <3Delete