Forgive til it hurts

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Journeyman1, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Journeyman1

    Journeyman1
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    This verse has spoken to me lately:

    Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.
    Psalms 139:23-24 (HCSB)

    It speaks to me of the resentment and bitterness that I have allowed to buildup within my soul for my father. He was an alcoholic and died from his drinking when I was very young leaving me as an orphan. For a long time I looked at alcoholism as a sickness, something he just couldn't control. A genetic defect. But as I get older this still bothers me even more and now I have to come to terms with this and forgive him. I can't help feeling that he could have stopped drinking somehow so that he could have been there for me while I was growing up?

    How can I forgive my father? I can't forget my childhood but is there a way that I can spiritually overcome this and move on with my life?


    jman
     
  2. terriloo

    terriloo
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    There are, of course, many bible verses that apply to your situation--I'm sure others will post them here as they can. And you are obviously already searching the "ultimate answer Book" to help you deal with this situation. I wanted to offer a few thoughts for you to consider as well....

    Here's a quote from a website I just found:
    Sins aren’t okay. By definition, they’re not okay; if they were okay; they wouldn’t be sins, would they? There would be no need for forgiveness. What we would be talking about if sins were okay would be acquittal, not forgiveness. Acquittal means the guy didn’t do it. He walks. He’s innocent. But when we FORGIVE, that’s not the judgment we’re making. We’re not exonerating. We’re just electing to move on. Forgiveness turns out to be much more about you than about the one who has hurt you.

    In a curious way—curious and offensive to many people, I might add—the distinction between the victim of a wrong and its perpetrator is not as central to the problem of forgiveness as it always seems. This thought runs so counter to the way almost all of us feel that it sounds like nonsense, especially to the victim of a grave injury. Wait a minute! . . . you’re saying that there’s no difference between me and the one who betrayed my trust so completely that I don’t think I can ever trust again? Whether I committed the sin or someone else committed it against me is not as important to my eventual freedom as is ejecting it from its inappropriate place in the spotlight on my spiritual landscape. Whoever did it—if it is obsessing me—I am the one who must act to change things. As fascinated as we cannot help but be with the question, “Who started it?” the more urgent and more useful question is, “Who can end it?” The first is a question about the past, and we cannot change the past. But the second is about the present and the future, and these are things we can affect by our own agency.

    The rest of this article may be found at:
    http://explorefaith.org/forgive/crafton.html

    There are many other resources from experts who base their "counseling" on the BIBLICAL standpoint of forgiveness. Often, I've found we have it "hammered home" into our little brains that we should do this or that because God said to--and, well, obviously that's the TRUTH and good advice. But knowing that in your head -- and then ultimately applying it in your heart-- takes a lot more than someone hammering mere information into your brain. I have found within the context of my life and the lives of everyone I have ever known well that God always, always gives us the commands and rules and instructions that He does FOR OUR OWN GOOD, as well as for His personal glory. In other words, just as He commanded against committing adultery because it went against HIS holiness, He also knew how much it would cause so much pain in the lives of those affected by the adultery.

    Thus, I think it would help you much to read up on what this carnal world has learned about the "mechanism" of forgiveness as applied practically in our lives. God knows what carrying around that grudge will do to us--so in telling us to forgive, He is not only commanding you to do something that His holy person both DESERVES and REQUIRES, He is also instructing you to do something that is GOOD FOR YOU.

    It is never EASY to let go of a hurt so deep as the one you describe. But it is ALWAYS in your own best interest to do so. The ramifications of NOT doing so hurt you in many ways--here on this earth in this physical body and hurting soul--and later on AFTER you've left your mortal shell. Learning to forgive your father will have the added benefit of appreciating just how much your HEAVENLY Father loves you--look what He has had to forgive of YOU.

    Other things to check out(that I found with a cursory internet search using: "forgiveness" + "health" as search terms) are:

    Letting Go of the Role of Victim Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
    "I'm not asking you to forgive him because what he did was acceptable. It wasn't; it was mean and selfish. I'm asking you to forgive because he doesn't deserve the power to live in your head and turn you into a bitter, angry [person]. I'd like to see him out of your life emotionally as completely as he is out of it physically, but you keep holding on to him. You're not hurting him by holding on to that resentment, but you're hurting yourself."
    found at:http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/newsh/items/article/item_95.html

    Also, this: Forgiven by Linda Douty

    "I remember the moment that “I got it” about forgiveness. I had analyzed the word many times, realizing that forgiveness was not about condoning bad behavior; rather, it was about forgiving persons, not actions. I had studied the relevant scripture passages. I had prayed to experience God’s healing forgiveness for myself. I had prayed to be able to forgive someone who had hurt me in a life-changing way. I had prayed to BE forgiven by my children for the times when I was an inept and uninformed mother. I knew that any Christian worth her salt should search for and strive toward forgiveness... “the truth shall set you free.” I began to sense the value of accepting things as they were and as they had happened. I saw the bitter cost of unforgiveness: nothing short of the utter erosion of one’s life. And, in my basic selfishness, I wanted no part of it.... Perhaps God had created us in such a way that to forgive another is to break the chains that bind US, to free ourselves from the prison which limits our own freedom. Perhaps C.S. Lewis had it right when he wrote that “… the gate to hell is locked from the inside.”...The invitation to forgive reminds us that we hold the key."
    This entire article can be found at http://explorefaith.org/forgive/douty.html

    Forgiveness--or the lack thereof--is something that I've seen up close and personal in the two most important men in my life. My father was the victim of the efforts of some very bad men to ruin his life....and it took many years, and FIVE head injuries to help him realize that God was trying to help him "forgive and LITERALLY forget" ;) My husband has an ex-wife (married for 23 years) who first cheated on him with half a dozen men, and then running through every dime he had before walking out on him....he and I have worked through many long and arduous conversations in his quest to TRULY forgive her. It has been painful for him, to say the least. But the rewards of doing so have included a sense of relief, a sense of thankfulness, and an ability to now TRULY enjoy the life God has given him.

    So many things in life are hard...and seemingly impossible....but ALL things are possible with God. [​IMG]
     
  3. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    Forgiveness is a choice and you'll have to choose to forgive every day until this becomes a way of 'heart'.

    Pray for your own self! The Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. Ask the Lord to help you become more like Christ, who loved us while we were yet sinners!

    Mt 6:15
    But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

    Diane
     
  4. ILUVLIGHT

    ILUVLIGHT
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    Hi Journeyman1
    Your sure can you've already taken the hardest and the first step toward it. You have the desire to do so.

    Remembering the Bad things done to us in this life is Satans tool used to keep us down. It seems we can't help but remember, don't allow yourself to believe that, it's not true, we can help it.
    We have spiritual control over the flesh if we didn't we wouldn't be able to escape the temptation of sin. We can control what we think and when we remember we are thinking about it. Forgiving your father is simply done by letting go of all that hurt. Don't let it come up and take your peace because it will if you let it. Prayer is the best tool to forgive with in pray simply and tell the Lord you forgive your Father of everything you've held against him and mean it. Then take control of your own thoughts by admitting to your self that you have already dealt with it and just push it out of your mind with prayer. Don't let guilt back in.
    It will take disapline and determination. You can do it and you will succeed if your persue a forgiving heart. Most of all Love your father because you want to not because of what He did. May God Bless You and Keep you my friend;
    Mike
     
  5. Brownov

    Brownov
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    When you forgive, you are choosing to accept the pain your father caused you and not require it of him. You cannot change your past (or his) but you can forgive him with God's help. It is the power of God's Holy Spirit which allows us to overcome our own desires and feelings and to forgive those who have wronged us.

    Remember that God is the father to the fatherless and seek his strength and help.
    Paul
     
  6. Journeyman1

    Journeyman1
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    Thanks Mike & Paul for the encouragement and thanks to everyone else who have taken the time to offer me their thoughts. I have forgiven my father on many occasions but the memories still remain. And as I am faced with the added challenges of raising my own family, his absence is even more real to me so I have to start this process all over again.

    I have been reading a book by Lewis Smedes called Forgive & Forget and this is helping me to understand this process a little more.


    jman
     
  7. Journeyman1

    Journeyman1
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    I listened to the testimony on tape of David Meece from an interview on Focus on The Family. Although I had listened to this story before, today it really spoke to me. This thing about forgiveness for some of us really isn't that simple. But I am learning. This really is more of just making a decision to forgive, its more about understanding the person that hurt you and the only way to accomplish this is to look at the person through the love of Christ. I have to understand what happened and why my father made the decsions that he did.

    It has been an eye opener for me to realize that although my earthly father was absent within my life, my heavenly father has really been there all along.

    http://www.davidmeece.com/bio.html

    From his bio:

    The song that is probably most responsible for all the tears is David’s autobiographical “My Father’s Chair.“

    “One of the few memories I have of my father is that he loved to sit in the same chair and watch TV after work,” David said. “However, he was also very violent and his alcoholism and abuse eventually grew to a point where he just disappeared. So, in the first verse, I talk about my father’s chair, which was empty. In the second verse I talk about ‘my’ chair and how I want my kids to see my chair as a place of love and unconditional acceptance.” Then, in the third verse, David makes the ultimate discovery. “My earthly father was not my real father at all. My ‘real’ father is my Father in heaven and He never left my side for one second. The Father’s chair - His throne in glory - is the chair that will some day draw all His children and none will be turned away.”

    Forgiveness that changes:
    http://www.davidmeece.com/changed.html

    "Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer and forgiveness." H. Jackson Brown


    jman
     

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