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And I am on my way to freedom and happiness through forgiveness,I chose to seek forgiveness because I have come to the realization that unforgiveness has blocked me in so many ways in my life from relationships to opportunities. I believe in Jesus Christ and one thing he commanded us to do is to forgive. Matthew ,15 says For if you forgive men when they sin against you ,your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men of their sins,your heavenly father will not forgive you. Everybody knows the lords prayer and it says forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, so the instructions are there for our good,we just have to abide by them.

What Is Forgiveness? What it Does & Does NOT Mean

You can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you. He wouldn't ask you to do it if he didn't think it could be done. Be healed and set free in Jesus name! Thank you Lisa. I too have had a hard time with the word forgiveness and I agree with you on what it implies. Detachment makes so much more sense than forgiving.

Maybe it is just semantics but when someone you love goes out of their way to hurt you over and over again and you forgive them and let them back into your life only for it to happen again you have to get to the point of detaching for your own sanity.

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I have so many mixed emotions toward this person but in the end detaching is the best for both of us. That is deep trauma which this article does not cover. You need intense aid from a psychologist or a psychiatrist, as well as a support group. Getting out of that crap will take years. I have done rape counseling that includes your situation. Granted my counseling is based on scriptural principals so it may not be consistent with other psychiatric counselors. What I advise is to turn the offense over to God and ask that He let His wrath and vengeance fall on the offender to drive them to repentance or utterly destroy them to protect others from suffering the same offense at their hands.

The scriptures teach that vengeance belongs to Him but we must turn it over to Him. IMO, it is the desire to take personal vengeance that is what has to be given up. It is about a willingness to forgive when forgiveness is sought that is critical. I started rape counseling because my fiance had been gang raped two years before and I was taking her through a healing process during our courtship.

Eight young men were already in prison for that rape. Two of them had begged her forgiveness at the trial but she had refused them. It is holding unforgiveness a refusal to forgive when forgiveness is sought that causes a root of bitterness that harms the victim. I told my fiance that she had to be able to forgive when it was sought because I wasn't perfect and would need her forgiveness if I ever wronged her.

She gave up the offense and forgave the two that begged her for it to release her own unforgiveness. They thanked her for it but they still had to serve their prison sentences. The consequences of their actions still have to be endured. Of the other six, she wrote them that she was praying for God's wrath and vengeance to fall upon them to drive them to repentance. Four of them begged her to stop God's vengeance and begged her and God's forgiveness. Rapist suffer badly in prison.

Her letters of forgiveness stopped the other inmates from tormenting them. The other two rapists mocked her letters and God's vengeance in the prison yard then were raped and beaten to death by other inmates as a result. They were the two that had initiated the gang rape to begin with. They died brutally, anally impaled on barbells in the prison yard. Seeing that justice was done and 5 1 was already saved of them got saved as a result of her actions brought about healing for her.

Through her suffering others had been helped. The remaining six rapists started a prison ministry to get inmates to seek forgiveness from their victims as a result of her actions and became pen pals with her. My fiance went from being bitter and angry to being full of joy. It impressed so many other girls that they started coming to me for rape counseling.

My fiance had received two years of psychiatric and religious counseling from the base Catholic priest this was while we were in the military that hadn't helped her at all prior to my counseling. The base psychiatrist was amazed at the results of the girls I had helped and wrote up the method in a psychiatric journal.

I have no formal training in psychiatry but just apply biblical principals.

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To boomshakalakaism above, I get what you are saying. I don't know that I will ever be able to say I forgive you to my abuser who stole 10 of my first 13 years of life and degraded the quality of the rest of it. But I did not have to say I forgive you to get many of the same benefits of forgiveness. I was encouraged in excellent gestalt therapy to hold on to my anger tighter than I already was. Only after doing that for a while was it possible for me to decide to visualize saying goodbye to the image of my abuser that I was carrying inside me.

When I saw myself saying goodbye to her at ever increasing distances 20 yards, 50 yards, 75 yards etc. I gained a detachment from her that helped free me to take a big step in improving my quality of life. I think the concept of "forgiveness" is different for different people, and it can even harm the victim to be forced to "forgive" their abuser, particularly when the abuse is ongoing and long-term.

Forced forgiveness or premature forgiveness is more like a "rape" than like "lovemaking", in my opinion.

Forgiveness: Your Health Depends on It

I myself prefer what I think of as the "old testament" version, which is basically very much like a "business" transaction between the person who has been affronted and the perpetrator of the affront. So from my perspective, I can only grant my forgiveness if the perpetrator actually asks me to forgive him or her.

The perp must actually acknowledge that they did or said something that hurt me, show genuine remorse for having hurt me, offer a true apology and a heart-felt promise to not do the hurtful thing again. The perp must also offer atonement, which is some means of in some way repairing the damage they did. I can then choose to grant my forgiveness, or not. If I choose to grant forgiveness, then that means that the conflict is over: its in the past, and I will not bring it up over and over.

It also implies that I am choosing to renew my trust in this person, but not necessarily. That would depend on the situation. However, in cases where there is no way in HELL I am ever going to receive a heartfelt apology, then I am not in a position to grant my forgiveness. In such a case: where there is NO justice available to me, when the person who harmed me shows NO acknowledgment that they've done wrong, and may even perhaps feel a malignant desire to harm me again I have to actively put the entire thing in the past; its over, its done.

My only avenue for feeling a sense of receiving justice is to insure that this person never has access to me or the opportunity to harm me again. And then, I actively try to not ruminate about it. Ruminating keeps me attached to the injustice, which feeds my sense of outrage, and its not healthy for me. So instead, I kind of "erase" my feelings of attachment to the person who hurt me, and simply go forward without feeling the need to "get them back".

No revenge; that's not healthy either. Its sort of like deciding that to me, that person has died and that event or situation is in the far distant past. The idea is to drain the toxic emotion out of it. So, yes, a bad thing was done to me, but I can gain satisfaction by distancing myself emotionally aka detaching from that person so they will not have the opportunity to hurt me again. Of course, if someone has decided to continue to try to harm me stalking, harassment, slander, libel, vandalism, etc. In such cases, my "forgiveness" is a moot point.

I totally understand that many people reading this article have had horrible abuses and atrocities befall them.

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I in fact, work with people who have been raped, molested, and abused physically and emotionally in their lives. My husband also has had an attempt on his life. But in fact we need to experience it fully and let it go.

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It's normal to hold on and want revenge. However, it doesn't allow us to move forward in our lives and learn to trust ever again, or find a new relationship. I agree with you.