Words of Hope: Forgiveness Overload
Dad believed we nullify forgiveness and cause pain rather than healing when we ask the other to forgive too much at one time.
“I cheated on you for the last twenty years. Would you forgive me?”
“I was never there as a father. Would you forgive me?”
Broad forgiveness requests create problems because wounds and wrongs of this magnitude cannot be processed quickly. These deep emotions take quality time, sensitive words, and compassion to navigate. Dad believed when we ask forgiveness without proper acknowledgment of the extent of the pain and suffering we caused someone else; we are asking too quickly and too selfishly. When we have offended and hurt someone over many months and years, or very dramatically, there will be a mountain of bitterness and damage that cannot be removed overnight. It is possible forgiveness can help bring healing to these abuses, and it is worthy of the effort, but blanket, broad strokes used in forgiveness asking only makes the situation more abusive and toxic.
Dad believed with deep wounds, the road of forgiveness must be walked. He walked this path and understood the time, courage, and resolve needed to seek God’s help to forgive the unforgivable.
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24