setapartformyking asked a question:
What is your best method you have used or use to let God fully take away any remainder of bitterness? Been struggling with being free from the chains of bitterness and fully forgiving and I don’t like what it’s doing to me.
Hey dear friend, thank you for being so honest and please know: forgiveness is an immensely difficult, uphill climb that often takes a lifetime.
Perhaps the best thing I’ve learned about forgiveness is that forgiving someone doesn’t always happen in one shot. Though it can certainly happen this way, for most of us, it takes a daily wrestling to really be free of our old wounds. I tend to be a slow forgiver, and it’s a process that needs daily work, sometimes even multiple times per hour.
The tricky thing is to not measure your progress; simply move forward on it each day. Whenever a negative thought comes up, this is where I need to ask God for grace, for both me and the other person. It’s okay that the anger pops up, because the hurt inflicted upon us is very real. But when the anger comes, I have to let it pass like the flu. I cannot let it settle in like poison. I acknowledge how badly I’m hurt and how wrong it was — and then I take on the mind of Christ in having grace for everyone involved.
Eventually, I get to a place where I’m both outraged at the injustice and compassionate in the situation, at the same time. That way, I don’t deny what happened, but I’m also not allowing it to determine who I am. None of this is easy, but it’s because we’re human. None of it was ever going to be easy.
The other thing is that forgiveness does not necessarily mean friendship. If someone hurts my wife or my family, I can forgive them, but I don’t have to hang out with them. Forgiveness is so often a gift for you, so that you can release the knife of the wound and move on. It will hurt, but the hurt doesn’t get to say who you are or what you’ll do. If you see them again: you can feel what you feel, but so we must accord those feelings their proper place and to continue despite ourselves. Part of healing is getting on with your mission and your God-made purpose, because you’re more than what has happened to you.