Handling Unforgiving People
Some weeks ago on BrojidStepUp, I shared with you how to handle your offence to people in the series, When You Offend People. One of the questions I was asked at some point was, “What if you apologize and the offended pretends to have accepted your apologies when in reality he hasn’t forgiven?”
While trying to answer that question, I found that there seems to be so much to explain concerning the matter that I need to make out time to discuss it properly.
I’d like to share my thought on the subject matter in bits and so it will take me some days to get done with it. If you care about learning how to handle unforgiving people, please follow me.
Before I delve into the matter properly, let me explain or remind you what forgiveness actually means.
Forgiveness actually means to let go of people’s offence or wrong doing. It means to withdraw and eliminate the due recompense of action that someone deserves for doing wrong.
I emphasize withdraw because even if you have planned what to do to someone as a retaliation to his offence, forgiveness means you will stay your hand of revenge on the person.
Meanwhile, I also added that you don’t just stop at withdrawing your hands of vengeance, you should destroyyour bullet of revenge or even his deserved recompense of reward.
In practical terms, forgiveness for your cheating spouse is that you don’t deal with him again by divorcing him or cheating on him as a way of letting him have a feel of what he did to you. It goes beyond your decision not to deal with him, you also not raise the matter again as an emotional blackmail or a means of getting something from him.
Forgiveness isnot just about saying, “I have forgiven you; let bygone be bygone.” That’s actually very easy to say; but the real work is in living that statement out.
Telling me you have forgiven me is meaningless if I can’t see a corresponding action that shows I have secured true forgiveness from you.
The proof of forgiveness is not in withholding your wrath for a while, but destroying it totally!
I’m not saying it’s easy to forgive, especially when you are deeply hurt by people you trust or love; that’s why I encourage you to take your time and work hard at ensuring you have totally forgiven your offender.
It’s better to be on your own while you work on your mind to come to a state of total forgiveness than to just say, “I have forgiven you.” when in reality the mention of the person’s name or sight of her makes your blood boil.
For me, I believe the teaching of Christ Jesus to forgive those that offend me. That’s why, planted firmly in my heart is a decision that no matter what someone does to me, I will forgive him.
The consequence is that my mind is prepared to forgive even before you apologize. For me, forgiveness is not predicated on your apologies but by the fact that I want to please God. Your apologies basically serve as courtesy and help the hurt of your offence heal faster.
However, when I find it hard to forgive, constantly begging me with excuses for your offence makes it hard to forgive you. At this level, its not a begging matter. When most people beg, they try to convince me with reasons; but most of their reasons don’t go down well with me. At that point, what I do is to generate enough excuse for them on my own to help me mentally and emotionally forgive them.
It’s also at this point that I start begging God to help me forgive totally.I pray to God because He makes His power available to help those that want to please Him.
Now, before I leave this matter, I want to talk briefly about the concept of forgive and forget.
The proper thing we should do when we are offended is actually to forgive and forget our offenders which actually means to withdraw the consequences of an offence and never unleash anger or vengeance again on the offender.
That’s basically what I have explained so far.
Now, a confusion often arises in the application ofthis truth because of the syntax.
Forgetting as used in this context does not mean you will lose memory of that offense. That’s only possible if it’s an insignificant thing or that you suffered amnesia.
It doesn’t mean you cannot talk about the events surrounding the offence as a historical event or for reference purpose.
Simply put, to forgive and forget means to let go of intended punishment or revenge for an offence and never revisit it again. When you remember the person and the hurt, you don’t feel like making suffer for what he did to you.
Now, I have taken time to explain what forgiveness is to ensure we are on the same page on this subject matter.
My focus is to show you how to handle people who can’t forgive just as I described here.
Please join me in the next episode as we get into the crux of the matter. Meanwhile feel free to share this with anyone that may find it useful.