I’ve heard many sermons, talks and presentations on forgiveness. Unfortunately many tackle this necessary topic without seemingly caring about the pain endured. Additionally, they offer little comfort to the wounded.
The message on forgiveness usually favours the abuser. The victim’s take away the lesson that their forgiveness free’s the abuser from any punishment for their wrong.
Forgiveness seems to exonerate the perpetrator from guilt, responsibility or the need for repentance. Rarely do we hear the cry for the abuser to apologise and seek forgiveness. Rather the onus always on the victim?
I believe in forgiveness. I believe that my ability to forgive frees me. I also think that as we help people to walk through their pain, they will naturally arrive at the place where they can forgive without being pushed or frightened.
Sometimes the emphasis on the victim forgiving cause many who are hurting to struggle to see where Christ fits in their suffering. If people with religious authority tells you to forgive, offers no sympathy for the wound you carry and fails to acknowledge the pain of your experience, this could be extremely disheartening.
Now I don’t claim to be a bible scholar, but I’ve learnt a few things about Jesus that tells me He doesn’t share their opinion. His heat is tender towards you, and He cares for the brokenhearted.
You have no responsibility towards the abuser. However, forgiveness is a gift that we offer to ourselves and others. Gifts are unexpected and rarely deserved it’s the thoughtfulness and care on the part of the giver that imparts gifts.
For you to be able to give that gift, you first have to receive it.
It is essential that you allow yourself to heal. Through that process, you will get to the place where you desire to give the gift.