Vengeance is God’s
Have you ever found it difficult to grant forgiveness? This is a tough spot. I know because I’ve been there. When I caught my ex-husband in the act of abusing my daughter, I wanted to kill him or break his legs at least.
It was hard to prevent myself from seeking revenge. I wanted him to hurt as much as we did and his betrayal of our marriage vows drove the nail into the coffin of our 15-year relationship.
But, as difficult as it was, I had to leave vengeance in God’s hands, so I could be a mother to my hurting children. I didn’t want them to lose both of their parents, so I had to swallow my pride and my right to punish.
Forgiveness is Hard
It took me several years to get to a place where I could begin to even think about granting forgiveness to my ex. My family was devastated and I was left to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives. I was also angry with God. How could He allow such a thing to happen to an innocent little girl?
Then I remembered…….God gave us all a free will and some of us use our free will to hurt others. Unfortunately, my daughter was the victim of the seriously heinous choice of my ex to inflict harm. So, forgiving was the last thing I wanted to do. He didn’t deserve it. And neither do I.
Thank God we don’t get what we deserve. It is hard to wrap my brain around it sometimes, but Jesus died, even for my ex-husband. This fact empowers me to grant forgiveness and give the unmerited grace that God gives me through His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus forgives me for all of my hurtful actions, so I can forgive the most horrific acts against me or others I love.
Like I mentioned before….NO…… this isn’t easy to do, but remembering Jesus on the Cross. going through His agonizing death for us allows me to see other flawed people through His eyes.
The Journey to Grant Forgiveness
There are 7 essential steps I’ve taken to process my hurt and grant forgiveness to those who have done the hurting. If I can forgive my ex for his abuse, you can forgive whoever inflicted hurt in your life.
Follow these steps to granting forgiveness~
- Acknowledge your feelings.
- Be clear about expectations and limits.
- Let the person off your hook and put them on God’s hook.
- Give the other person the opportunity to treat you better in the future.
- Give up the desire to place blame and work through any resentment or negative feelings toward the other person.
- Communicate forgiveness to the other person. (see note below)
- Work toward reconciliation only when it is safe to do so. (see note below)
Sometimes it isn’t possible to communicate or reconcile with the other person, but the act of forgiveness will set you free from bitterness and resentment. I can live in peace knowing God will take what is wrong and make it right.
What steps have you taken to grant forgiveness to someone? What was the outcome? Share in the comments below…
Note: After giving him several opportunities throughout our 15-year marriage to change and stop being abusive, my ex-husband is in jail. It is not possible to reconcile our relationship or communicate with him because it would create a dangerous situation. If you are in an abusive relationship, it is extremely important that you get to a place of safety and get help immediately, especially if there are children involved! Call the domestic violence hotline @ 1-800-799-7233 if you and your children are in danger of physical, sexual, emotional,financial and/or psychological abuse.
Life Innovations (2008) Seeking and granting forgiveness. Retrieved from www.prepare-enrich.com
Marks, R.D. (2008) Seeking and granting forgiveness. Marriage for Life, Inc. Retrieved from www.prepareenrich.com
© 2016 – 2017, Rhonda Marie Stalb. All rights reserved.
Get The Beautifully Broken Living Journal!
The Beautifully Broken Living Journal will help you to challenge negative thinking, stay connected to God, and find the positive in everyday life. The Journal also includes affirmations to renew your mind and heal your heart!