Right out of the gate, let me stand up and state, ' I have issues with forgiveness.' I am not sure if it is giving forgiveness, a memory issue (not being able to forget I have been hurt), or a trust issue (once you wrong me or hurt me, I probably won't trust you as far as I can throw you). I know Jesus would want me to forgive and I know if I am ever going to make it into heaven, I must forgive...but still, this one is difficult for me.
Not that I never forgive, but even if I do, I may never forget and I may never trust you again. Like people who lie to my grandchildren and tell them one thing and do another, that just rips me to the core and no, I am sorry if you fell the need to lie to a child, don't expect me to get all warm and fuzzy and trust you.
#1- Is it harder to give or to receive forgiveness? Why? For me it truly is dependent upon the situation...but I would say it is harder for me to give forgiveness because when I am hurt to the point that my heart is broken and my body is numb and raw, it is going to take me an awful long time to forgive you. If you break my grands heart or trust...well, as the song of old once said, 'just walk on by.'
#2-Why is it so hard for us to grant unconditional forgiveness? How can your faith help you become a more forgiving person? For me it is hard because I have given that type of forgiveness in the past only to have my heart broken again, so I am not a very trusting person to begin with and to me you have to be able to trust again to forgive. I am NOT saying it is right, I am NOT saying everyone is this way, I AM saying, this is me! I am working on this. I take notes on forgiveness sermons, I read the Bible on forgiveness and I do my best to forgive and just when I do the person does something again and I am ripped again. I am open to any suggestions on this one!
#3-What is the role of forgiveness in my personal life? In my spiritual life? Personal life really dependent upon the person and situation. I had a problem many years ago in which I truly tried to believe I wasn't seeing what way going on, but people kept prompting me asking me why I wouldn't speak up, why I wasn't saying anything, why I was allow a certain person to verbally kick me? I pretended it didn't bother me and I did so for several years later. Then being prompted by the holy spirit to forgive, I sat down and poured my feelings and forgiveness out to this person. What ensued was an ugly awful phone conversation. A few years later this person called me a liar with my mom standing there, however my mom had been privy to the transaction and knew I wasn't lying and stood up and stated such. I forgave. Then one day out of the blue I receive an Email that was sent to my dad and step-mom that said such lies about me, my husband our integrity. I haven't talked to the person again with the exception of once when my mother was dying. This time, I just can't open myself up to forgive.
Several people have made promises in just the past few months to my grands and then not followed through & right now, I cannot forgive them for hurting the kids. It leaves them mistrusting and that is just crap!
On the other hand, I hand a person seriously rip my heart out and then pretend that nothing happened, that we were still friends. I was able to put it on the cross and leave it there. When people are hurting themselves, they will lash out at the closest person. Do I like that? No, I don't and didn't. I gave it to God, forgave them and can still talk to them, however, I am very cautious about what I say or do in front of that person.
4. The ultimate expression of forgiveness is found in God's sacrifice of His son. Because we have been forgiven, we should be forgiving. How would this kind of forgiveness affect your relationships? See my writings above. Logically I know all of this, but from a hearts stand point, I am a work in progress!