How Do I Get to Real Forgiveness?

Updated: May 4

Real forgiveness says, “I see that you were doing what worked for you at the time, but it never, ever worked for me!” Real forgiveness knows that real wounding took place; therefore, real fingers have to be pointed so that real movement through the underworld of suffering can occur. When that real movement has been made, real forgiveness raises you up off the ground, wipes off the spit, pulls the twigs out of your hair, and testifies, “You can’t hurt me anymore! It’s over and I’m free! You have no power in my life!” Real forgiveness is a process that creates true separations from torment and tormentors, and true separations require the proper application of boundary-restoring anger, or they won’t mean a thing. - Karla McLaren

Forgiveness of others should never come before the negative emotion is fully felt and expressed. This premature forgiveness is false; it is born of self-sacrifice and it keeps the sadness and anger intact.

After fully expressing your anger at the injustice done to you, you can then give up the hope that the other person will ever pay you back. It is only God who can bring you justice, who can make up for what you lost.

(Forgiveness is not the same thing as restoring the relationship. Restoration requires repentance, which is comprised of a genuine apology and a promise to not do it again.)

When you identify the bonds that your childhood set of rules or beliefs kept you trapped in, and you express the anger and sadness that resulted from what those bonds did to you, you will begin to feel free.

And then you will feel something toward that part of your self that yearns to be fully alive: compassion. And regret. Regret that you kept your true self dead all these years, for no real reason except the fear of living. You will feel compassion for the suffering and powerlessness that your true self has been through. You will desire forgiveness.

Is it forgiveness of yourself? Or is it accepting the forgiveness of Christ that He has already given you? Whichever it is, this is the last step toward setting yourself free, toward allowing your true self to live.

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It took me three years to realize that I am a fallen creature. I have been struggling and groping my way back to the Light. Here are a few things that I have learned along the way....

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