Pastor Josh completed his 4 week series on church discipline yesterday. The last 2 were on forgiveness. Last week I was freed from a thinking that I think lots of Christians fall into. That because we are Christians we are supposed to forgive...like everyone, all the time. But that isn't true. It is something I was struggling with in 2 situation particularly that have been such a burden upon me. One person told me that praying for the person who wronged me is a start in a process to forgive them, and once I forgive them, then I can keep moving on. Forgive them even if they don't feel sorry or realize that they hurt me for my own psychological health. I thought that sounded reasonable and it seemed like it worked at first, but I was still feeling terrible about myself because I was still unsettled. Then what I heard last Sunday was so freeing for me. There is no unconditional forgiveness. God doesn't forgive the unrepentant sinner. Having an attitude of forgiveness is unconditional, but granting forgiveness is conditional.
But then came a whole other state of mind. Do I make these people aware that they hurt and are hurting me in the way they are acting? Just ask them if it was there intention to hurt me. Then the ball is in their court. We are supposed to live in peace with all men. But there is a problem...I have confronted these people before and it didn't go well...it hurt my family alot. So when talking to my mom she didn't think it would be a good idea either. So for the good of my family I can try to not let this get me down. Why is it such a burden on my heart though? Do I feel like I need to be justified because I have been wronged and hurt?