Dr. Loyd ‘s “Spiritual Law of Nature” Cutting Edge message from 7/13/11 on unforgiveness was brilliant, and really got me to thinking.
He said that the test of whether we truly have forgiven someone is whether we are able to 100% unconditionally accept the person. (Not the act, but the person.) If we cannot, we have not really forgiven.
From talking with my clients, and my own experience, I concur with Dr. Loyd: this can be one of the most common reasons people get stuck.
Aside from doing The Healing Code for unforgiveness, I find it helps to get to that place of “unconditional acceptance of the one you’re forgiving” (whether it’s another person, yourself, or even God) if you move beyond just “letting the issue go,” but let it go somewhere.
Or, more accurately, to Someone. Namely, God.
See, if we think that forgiving means letting go of the issue, and that’s it, then it violates this innate sense of justice we have. We’re reluctant to “give it up” because we feel that justice should somehow be done.
And so it should. It’s just that we’re not to be the ones to execute it.
We would mess it up, because we don’t have all the facts. There is One who does know all, and has a keener sense of justice than we do. Keener, and more accurate because it’s based on perfect knowledge. The Bible says we’re not to take revenge or try to “pay back” anyone ourselves, but leave it up to God: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
I once read a novel that had a huge impact on my ability to forgive. It was called The Peaceable Kingdom by Jan de Hartog. The author did a masterful job with point of view that I never forgot. He would switch to different characters’ point of view, and you’d see how one little bit of information that one character had, and another didn’t, changed the whole picture. I think that one book has done more to help me develop compassion and forgiveness than anything else. You can’t tell what little bit of history about a person might change the whole picture, if only you knew.
God knows. Only he searches the motivations of a person’s heart and knows all the history. He’s the one who is perfectly loving and just. He’s the one to whom we can entrust our issue as we forgive.
Of course, if your issue is with forgiving God, then you need to work on your image of him so that it’s a true image and not some distortion. Scripture suggests you focus on how much God has forgiven you. If you haven’t ever read the parable of the unforgiving servant, you might want to take a look at Matthew 18:21-35. It’s a great “perspective corrective” when you are trying to forgive someone else. It appeals to our sense of both justice and mercy, and helps us understand God’s viewpoint.
Which is what, in my opinion, is the final reality. Everything else merely human opinion….