I believe many Christians have a misconception about the true process and meaning of forgiveness. Because of these myths I’ve come across many people carrying enormous amount of guilt and obligation. This guilt and obligation can lead to an unhappy and unfulfilled life. They carry an unnecessary yoke around their neck because the false ideas of forgiveness. In my course of growing and healing from my past…I’ve learn two important points about forgiveness:
1) Forgiveness has EVERYTHING to do with you. Forgiveness frees you from guilt, shame, fear and obligation. It allows you to let go of all the unhealthy emotional baggage you carried from the hurt and pain done to you. Forgiving someone who has wronged you places the power back in your hands and out of the wrong doer. Your forgiveness basically is saying that, although I have a justified reason to be angry or upset with you, I am choosing to exercise grace and mercy. Freely giving this grace and mercy towards your wrong doer opens the prison doors where the two of you were held captive. This opening of the prison cells gives you the emotional power to walk out free!
2) Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to allow the wrong doer back into your life. Many people are silent sufferers who have been lead to believe that if I choose to no longer allow the wrong doer in my life than I haven’t truly forgiven them. Let me tell you my friends this is not true. Some who have wronged you will recognize and acknowledge their wrong doing and sincerely apologize and show this apology through their course of actions. These types of relationships can most often have the potential for mending and restoration. However, there will also be times although forgiveness has taken place, due to the toxicity of the person; the relationship will not be mended. If you find that the person you have forgiven still has unhealthy behavior traits that are not beneficial to your wellbeing and growth, then perhaps this is a person you must love at a distance. Loving someone at a distance means that you don’t harbor any animosity, anger or resentment there is genuine love carried within your heart for the person’s wellbeing. However, you have come to a place in your journey of growth and self-discovery where you have realized that some people (which could include a family member) are not emotionally healthy individuals and therefore not emotionally healthy for you so boundaries are placed for your sanity and peace.
I am a living witness to this journey and process. I have experienced true freedom and peace of mind by making the brave and bold decisions of removing unhealthy individuals from my life. True forgiveness is a transformation that happens in the heart…it’s an experience and process between you and God. This is why you mustn’t allow “other people’s opinions” affect you on how you choose to handle a relationship with someone who has wronged you. Your choice is between you and God through your personal prayers, devotions and mediation that leads you to make the healthiest decision for you concerning the relationship.
I encourage anyone who is in a toxic relationship, rather if it’s a boyfriend, friend, mother or father or whoever it may be. Do not allow yourself to rot within those prison cells. Take the steps to true forgiveness and healing…remember forgiveness has EVERYTHING to do with freeing and healing you.