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#455185 - 11/27/13 10:35 AM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: victor-victim]
Johnathan Offline

Registered: 02/23/12
Posts: 10
Loc: canada
This is powerful. Thank you so much.

#455219 - 11/27/13 04:42 PM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: victor-victim]
tbkkfile Offline

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 393
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom

I'm having real problems with this, I kind of understand that hating someone is only hurting me and not them, after all how would my perps know that I feel like this, they probably don't even think about what happened, and hating stops me getting on with my life, but I really can't get my head around the word "forgiveness".

How does this work as for me the word means absolution of their crimes, it validates what they did by saying that I forgive them, am I missing something?

I really am keen to understand as I've come so far with my healing, but I can't forgive.

#455244 - 11/27/13 08:05 PM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: victor-victim]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2615
Loc: Central PA
To me, Forgiveness does not equal absolution in any way shape or form. I know for many people that is what they think and so forgiveness stirs up all manner of feelings and resistances based on that understanding.

Since we're in the "spirituality" forum, I'll touch a bit on forgiveness from a Biblical perspective, and more specifically, the story of Joseph.

Joseph was hated and betrayed by his own brothers. They beat him and through him in a pit and intended to kill him. But because one brother didn't want to kill him, they instead decided to sell him as a slave, and reported to their father that he was dead.

From there, Joseph was taken to Egypt, and purchased and began serving in a household. He eventually was nearly sexually assaulted by his master's wife. He said no and ran away.... The Master's wife falsely accused him of trying to rape her and he was then thrown into prison for years.

From there, he eventually was let out of prison because he was able to interpret the Pharoah's dream. He was given a position of power and enabled Egypt to survive a famine. During the famine however... one day he saw his brothers, who had come to Egypt for food.

With his power, he could have enacted justice. He could have had them killed or had them thrown in prison, but because he had reached a place where he had forgiven them, he didn't do that.

He also didn't' run out to them and act like it hadn't happened. He didn't "forget" as people often want to promote. That idea actually isn't Biblical. Joseph definitely remembered and that wounds they had inflicted on him most definitely affected him and how he interacted with them.

What he did do, was test them. He sought to find out what kind of people they had become in the intervening years. He actually put them in nearly the same position they were with him. He set them up and framed them. They pleaded their innocence, so he demanded they leave their youngest brother there (who was his fathers favorite son, which Joseph had been) while they went and get their father. But the oldest refused to do that and offered himself in exchange. Joseph was able to see that his older brother actually realized the affect his past actions had on their family and didn't want it repeated. He was remorseful for what he had done.

This opened the door for what many of us will never have and really aren't even required to seek with our abusers, that being reconciliation.

So forgiveness really is us choosing to no longer hold a grudge against the person who hurt us. It does NOT absolve them of their crime. It does NOT mean what they did was somehow ok.

By holding a grudge, we grow bitter and angry and that really does only hurt us. Not our offender. Forgiveness means I'm choosing to lay that burden down. I can forgive someone and they don't even ever need to know about it. They don't even have to feel remorse or recognize what they did was wrong, or even the damage that was done.

I can forgive, and still not ever have anything to do with those who hurt me. That isn't unforgiveness. They is being wise and not opening the door to be hurt again.

From a Christian perspective, God calls us to forgive those who hurt us, but we're never told we have to be reconciled to that person at all. God also reminds us that vengeance is His, and His memory and justice far exceeds my own. When I choose to forgive and lay it down, I'm literally laying it down in God's hands and letting Him take care of it.

Does that help at all? or does it only muddy the waters? If so, how can I help clarify it?

Edited by JustScott (11/27/13 08:05 PM)

#455275 - 11/27/13 11:48 PM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: victor-victim]
Banjo596 Offline

Registered: 08/20/13
Posts: 93
Loc: Ohio
Thanks Victor and all, this comes at a good time for me.

Edited by Banjo596 (11/27/13 11:49 PM)

#455282 - 11/28/13 01:02 AM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: tbkkfile]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: š¯’Ŗ š¯’¦anada
to forgive does not mean approve, condone, accept, pardon, absolve, excuse, permit, forget or allow.
for me, it meant to cease hatred and resentment.
the only part of the equation i have any control over.

i stopped viewing my abusers as impersonal objects or inhuman beasts.
i saw them as flawed and imperfect humans.
by finally perceiving them as equals,
neither below nor above me.
they no longer had power over me.
forgiveness does not deny their danger.
nor does it eliminate the threat.
forgiveness does not delete our duty or desire to protect children and prevent crimes.

i cannot forgive their sins.
i cannot pardon their crimes.
i cannot cancel their consequences.
none of that is within my jurisdiction.
who am i to deny them whatever wages they have truly earned and duly deserve.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:23

"Do not take revenge, my dear 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

what i did was utilize the power of prayer to forgive what they did to me.
in doing so, i was forced to face my own fears and feelings about my own failings, and my need for forgiveness.

James 5:16
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

that sounded good to me.
i wanted, needed to be healed.
but was i righteous?
i had some confession and repentance of my own to do,
which required some deep honesty.
i can lie to myself, but i can't lie to god.

the process provided me with closure.
it put an end to the perpetualmotion feedback tapeloop cycle of self abuse and impotent rage.
i was finally free to leave my heavy burden behind and move beyond all that emotional baggage.
it was like getting a spiritual separation from satan.
it was like getting a divorce from the devil.
it was like cutting loose a karmic knot which was inextricably intertwined.
instant relief.

i have no idea whether god will forgive them.
the abusers must seek their own salvation.
i can't help them (or anyone else) with that.
i have a hard enough time with my own flaws and faults.

considering the extreme evil nature of their deeds,
the road to recovery, repentance and redemption for a practicing pedophile must be rocky indeed.
can you imagine the self loathing that would come with an honest self appraisal and true admission, acknowledgment and atonement?

Ezekiel 20:43
"And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed."

1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Proverbs 28:13
"Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy."

Proverbs 28:9
"If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination."

Luke 13:5
"No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

if you think about it, the ultimate punishment for a predator would be the installation of an empathy chip.
the potential pain of such a radical change is probably why so few are able or willing to face reform.
hence the "incurable" label.

i still believe in divine judgement and justice.
that gives me great comfort.
i would not trade places with any one of these lost souls.



#455313 - 11/28/13 05:48 AM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: victor-victim]
tbkkfile Offline

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 393
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
I didn't mean to hijack your thread Victor with my question, I was just finding it hard to understand, so apologies.

Thank you JustScott for your reply it really helped and as always thank you Victor.

I stopped viewing my abusers as impersonal objects or inhuman beasts.
I saw them as flawed and imperfect humans.
by finally viewing them as equals,
they no longer had power over me

This I understand, its strange but until now I had seen them as you called them Victor "inhuman beasts", they had power over me back when I was 11 and they had power over me now but looking on them as flawed and imperfect humans in truth they have no power over me

I finally get it, thank you Victor this has really helped.

Apologies again for hijacking your thread

#455317 - 11/28/13 06:36 AM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: tbkkfile]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: š¯’Ŗ š¯’¦anada
i am very happy to help.

Proverbs 10:12
"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses."

1 John 3:14
"We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers.
Whoever does not love abides in death


#455375 - 11/29/13 12:10 AM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: victor-victim]
Banjo596 Offline

Registered: 08/20/13
Posts: 93
Loc: Ohio
victor, once again I feel the need to thank you!
I bookmarked the links you posted earlier in this thread and just found time to go back and read them.
They have been very helpful to me.
Thanks, and bless you smile

#457002 - 12/18/13 04:13 PM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: victor-victim]
timetorecover Offline

Registered: 12/11/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Mi
I heard an interesting definition of forgiveness from a speaker (maybe pema chodron)... anyway it went like this:

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different!

I like that.
could also be the definition of acceptance.
perhaps acceptance and forgiveness are very related.

#457019 - 12/18/13 07:38 PM Re: healing through forgiveness [Re: timetorecover]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: š¯’Ŗ š¯’¦anada
i put it all in the hands of god.
that is what worked for me.
that is what set me free.

‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’

“Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’
If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done.
And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right— if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die.
None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.

“Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their way that is not just.
If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, they will die for it.
And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so.
Yet you Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to your own ways.”
Ezekiel 33

“Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones”
Proverbs 3

glory to god!
he gave me a sign.
"to forgive is divine,
so let your light shine,
because vengeance is mine!"

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to God's wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
Romans 12

"Vengeance is mine, and retribution."
Deuteronomy 32

"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult."
1 Peter 3

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Romans 12

"Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5

"He knew how frail is the memory of loved ones,
how we close our eyes and speak to them,
how we long to hear their voices once again,
and how those voices and those memories grow faint and faint
until what was flesh and blood is no more than echo and shadow.
In the end perhaps not even that.
He knew that our enemies by contrast seem always with us.
The greater our hatred the more persistent the memory of them so that a truly terrible enemy becomes deathless.
So that the man who has done you great injury or injustice
makes himself a guest in your house forever.
Perhaps only forgiveness can dislodge him."

Cormac McCarthy

"Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so such."
Oscar Wilde


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