I was talking to a friend recently. She was having trouble forgiving her ex. She knew that she needed to forgive him to set her own heart free, but she didn’t know how.
The program she was doing has a Step 8. As part of the Step 8, one prays for those they have resentments against. It isn’t asked that one simply forgives them, it is asked that one prays for them. Yet even that is hard. It seems that one is praying for one who has caused so much pain to have blessings, and for that person to have everything one wants for oneself. Why should someone be rewarded for doing something abusive?
I think what someone is asking for in praying for someone can vary from person to person and program to program. I do know one thing, however, there is a method that has worked for me in praying for those who have hurt me, and beginning to forgive those who have caused me a lot of pain, and I’d like to share it with you at the request of a friend.
I realized a while ago, that those people who I don’t like seem to have two people to them. One is their real self, and one is their persona. The real self is who they were as a child, and who they are created to be. The persona is their ways of dealing with fear and anger in their lives. I can love a person’s heart and strongly dislike their persona. Once I realized this, it set me free. Those people that I felt so bad for not loving? It wasn’t their real selves I didn’t love. It was the dark garbage that had been added, hiding the beauty.
I prayed with my friend for the little boy that her ex once was. That he be restored and the abusive part of him be disintegrated. And somehow, that seemed to help.
I carried grudges for years. I have also done quite a few things to hurt others in the past, and I would hope that people forgive me, for some of it was controlling. I know that for me, it was anger, self hatred, and fear that fueled those things. I feel that I’ve been being restored to the real Jessie lately, and I feel that when I pray for others to be restored to who they were meant to be, that I can pray for them. I can keep from hating them. And it seems to work.
The point? Maybe praying for restoration more than blessing will make it a little easier, and also remembering that so many people are not walking around acting like who they were created to be.
May God bless your day.
To pray for someone you have resentments against for a while, and to not worry about whether or not you are able to forgive them and just pray, really did work wonders when I did it.
Another friend was just telling me that she feels sorry for the person. No one is really happy when they are that awful.
Another friend was just saying “how much more suffering do we need?” When we have resentment, it doesn’t hurt them. It hurts us.
Other ideas welcome.
One thought on “A Method for Forgiveness”
I find it helpful to look at my hurt/anger/reluctance to forgive from Jesus point of view. How does he feel when I don’t forgive someone? Think: he loves this person so much. He wants this person to spend eternity with him, no matter what they did. And he really, really, really wants me to forgive them. “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing,” he said. As you said, pray for the person who hurt you that they be restored to the person they were created to be.