Forgiveness

Michele - posted on 09/12/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Can you forgive someone who is selfish, irresponsible, and inconsiderate and still let them know how they hurt you? Doesn't God forget our sins? I suppose that if we repent, then that is when he forgives and in this case my brother apologized but he doesn't really think he is doing wrong - I believe that he is sorry that I am mad but not really sorry that he flaked out. Can I show mercy and still hold him accountable? His problems go way beyond him not showing up and not calling when he said he was going to meet me to do some stuff for oiur dad. There are consequences to sin that we still have to face even when forgiven (not from God, but from the world). Forgiveness is hard sometimes.

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Brandy - posted on 09/12/2011

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I believe you can forgive a person and hold them accountable for there actions. Just because you forgive a person does not mean that you forget what they have done.

Jeanette - posted on 09/19/2011

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Yes, you can. When you forgive someone, you set yourself free from having that on you. You can forgive someone no matter what they did. I agree it is hard but we must in order for God to forgive us. I agree that if your brother has hurt you several times, that maybe you should not count on him anymore and put it in God's hands for Him to fix the problem with your brother. You can talk about it if you want to him so he may understand you not asking him for help anymore in the future and let him know how hurtful it is when he doesn't follow through.

If you are still upset, say outloud that I forgive my brother in Jesus Name and I release anything that I have in my heart against him and I forgive him right now. Ask God to help you with the rest and hurt feelings. Just keep saying it until it is gone from your heart.

It sucks that people let us down, but trust God in all things and He will never let you down.

God Bless!!!

Carla - posted on 09/16/2011

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Good, sweetheart. The older I get, I find if I just kind of pull myself out of a situation for a while and pray and mull over the matter, it saves on duct tape ;) I am a firm believer that we need duct tape over our mouths 9/10 of the time--we are human, and things kind of pop out. If we keep the spiritual duct tape on, all are better off. You need time to get your spirit calm and for the Holy Spirit to speak. Use it. Your family may wonder at why you didn't attend the dinner, but you were wise not to put yourself into a position where something may come out that could hurt God's plan down the road.

God bless, sweetheart, family is very challenging. We need the Holy Spirit's leading every step of the way.

Angela - posted on 09/15/2011

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The Lord's Prayer says "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us". I was once told by a Pastor that this means we forgive in the same way as God. If there is no repentance ((apology, empathy towards you & your feelings etc ...) then you don't need to forgive.

But if there has been an apology - however poor it is, then you should forgive. Now this is difficult. As Julie says, you know your forgiveness is complete when you can think back to the incident without feeling any twinges of pain, hatred etc ... This isn't going to happen overnight, however much any of us genuinely WANT to forgive and move forward but there is something you can do in the meantime to speed up the healing and forgiveness ....

If you doubt that the person who has "trespassed against you" is truly sorry or doesn't appreciate the harm he/she has done - then it's quite simple! You just don't give that person another opportunity to let you down or hurt you again! This cuts out your feelings of anger and bitterness and their feelings of inadequacy and failure!

I'm a huge believer in forgiveness but like you, I find it hard. Some trespasses are easier to forgive than others. Good luck in moving forward. God wants us to forgive because of the benefits to US (the ones that were trespassed against) and not only the ones who did the trespassing!

Jasmine - posted on 09/14/2011

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You can forgive him, but I think you need to be realistic about the relationship. I use to get disappointed with family and friends when they did not do as they should. I wanted the relationship to be what it should be instead of what it was. When I evaluated my relationships like that I ended some, cut back my involvement in others and was not hurt or disappointed as often. If your Bro is selfish and irresponsible and inconsiderate, don't expect him to be their for you or your Dad. Leave the door open for him to change and prove it to you, but don't waste your emotional energy on the hurt and disappointment.

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Melissa - posted on 09/26/2011

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I think that its ok that your upset . We all have simalar problems . My brother did somthing very detastable to and my sisters,I finally after many years confronted him and at tht time I disoned him in my life for a very long time I needed time to heal, it took me along time but in time I was able to forgive I never forgot though and that is for my protection . Forgivness is a big thing buI think if you pray about it you will get guidance frrom him . Sometimes the answers are not what we expect . Let go and let God . Pray for guidance life is short and God is bigger then we r .Do what your heart tells you . You may just have to step back . And give it to God . He heals and redeems . And somtime we make thigs bigger than it is .God bles and pray for clarity a wisdom and thank him for the things he will do to help you get threw this and pray for your brother.God Bless

Kathy - posted on 09/26/2011

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You can forgive people who hurt you. If we don't forgive It holds us back from what God wants to do in our lives. My ex is like that. He only sees and does what is convenient for him when it suits him. I know how hard it is. What the other person does or says or not does or says is between them and God. We will all be held accountable for our lives. Stay close to God by praying. He is always there whether you feel Him or not.he will never leave you or forsake you. God wants you to tell Him everything. Nothing is too small to tell Him. It all matters to Him. Forgiveness doesn't mean that you are telling the other person that you are excusing that person for what they did. It means that what they did won't keep you down. To forgive means that bitterness won't grow in you. You don't have to make plans with that person if you know that they will let you down. We are made of flesh and have to live in this world we will get hurt by others. Just remember what Christ went through here on this earth. They hated Him first. Stay strong on Christ. Like the song says...the name of the lord is a strong tower the righteous run to it and are safe.

Carla - posted on 09/16/2011

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I hear ya, Linda! Words hurt so much! Having been on the receiving end for so many years makes me overly sensitive, maybe, to watching that I don't cause pain. And if I do it on accident, I certainly try to make things right. I wish when we got up from the altar, at salvation, that some nice person would hand us a roll. It would save a lot of sorrow ;)

God bless!

Linda - posted on 09/16/2011

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Carla, your post reminded me of Psalm 141:3
"Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." (something I've been trying to do for years!) :)

Michele - posted on 09/15/2011

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Yes, I need to forgive him, and I will, but I needed some time. I am the type that doesn't get really angry often, but when I do, it takes a while to get over it. So I haven't really expressed my angry feelings to him. He knows I was mad and he did call to apologize because we were supposed to meet for dinner as a large family group. I didn't end up going. I needed that time to myself more. When he called my phone was almost out of battery so I listened and said we would talk later. He hasn't returned my call or text.
The Holy Spirit is working to give me peace. And I thank you all for your input

Linda - posted on 09/15/2011

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Forgiveness IS hard, but it is what we are called to do. Your brother needs Jesus most of all. He can see Jesus in YOU...in your forgiveness of his shortcomings, in your care of your father, in everything you do. Even if he doesn't admit being in the wrong, I'm sure on some level he knows he messed up. However, as Carla said, you can't change him and you'll drive yourself crazy trying to do so. Only God will ever change him. I think you can still express disappointment...but if you've already done that once, I would not keep bringing it up, even if you feel his apology wasn't sincere. Just pray, pray, pray (for yourself and for him). Many times forgiveness is an act of the will--even if we don't feel like it, if we keep praying about it, in time God will give us the peace that forgiveness brings.

Julie - posted on 09/14/2011

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You will know you have forgiven your brohter when you can think of the incident and not feel a twinge of pain - hatred, etc.
UTMOST - think of what was done to Jesus - the Son of God - and your issues will seem REAL small in comparison -

Carla - posted on 09/14/2011

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Michele, darling, you are describing my siblings and our situation to a T. I have taken care of them all their lives, and now have our 84 y/o mother living in the house behind ours. They don't help with money, visiting her or the numerous other things that go along with caring for the elderly. Trying to talk to them is like talking to the wall--so I learned, for my own sanity, to just do it myself. I know you want to tell your brother how his actions hurt you, but right now all he cares about is himself! I now just basically leave them alone. They don't want to talk to me, cuz they KNOW they have walked away from the Lord, and talking to me just emphasizes it. So, we talk about our kids and their jobs. Do I want to grab them and shake them til their teeth rattle? You bet! Will it do any good? No, in fact, it will undo the good God is working in their hearts, and I know He is. God is good, honey. He sees what we are doing, and you know what? Even though we are retired on disability and my husband retired from work, the money we have lost on this is being given to us. Don't know exactly how, except I DO know our bills are paid and we have food on our shelves. God always provides. We just have to TRUST Him that, if we do the right thing, we will be taken care of. I do NOT say that this is easy, and it took me a long time of being resentful to finally get this, but I DO say that God works it out. I just had to trust Him.

One day all this will come crashing down on your brother's head, then he will HAVE to deal with the consequences of his actions. But since he isn't a Christian, God will judge him, it isn't for us to do. All we can do is be the best Jesus to our family as we can. We do our part, God does His, and our families will see our good actions and want what we have.

I will pray for you, honey, I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, cuz it wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it is what we are commanded to do. Listen to the Spirit, pray, then be a witness.

God bless, darling

Michele - posted on 09/13/2011

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Basically what I would like to do is tell my brother what exactly about his actions caused me grief. I have already taken care of the things that he said he would take care of, because if I didn't our dad will run out of money completely. So he won't get the "consequences" of his inaction. Because I took care of it AGAIN. The only thing that I can do is to explain how this hurt me (disrespect of my time, worry that he might have driven off the side of the road drunk, leaving our dad in the lurch, and not caring that I wanted to spend time with him - none of that was important compared to sleeping in because he was drunk). I do accept that my brother is selfish, irresponsible, and inconsiderate, but that doesn't mean that I think it is okay. I know very well that my words will not have any impact unless he is actually willing to receive them, I am praying hard about how to impact him, because he is on a terribly destructive path right now that has already cost him dearly. Sorry that this might not make much sense to someone who doesn't know the situation completely. He needs God most of all and accept His mercy. I had to "let him get away with" blowing off helping my dad, but I don't think I can let him off the hook entirely by not saying anything.

Thank you all for prayers for him and me and our relationship! Carla, I will pray for you too!

Pamela - posted on 09/13/2011

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Forgiveness is not really about the other person and what they do or don't do. Forgiveness is saying you won't hold it against them. Does it mean you have to trust? No, But probably accept that this person simply doesn't follow through and understand that is what this person is like. Forgiveness is for you. If we have unforgiveness in our hearts, then our relationship with God suffers. And that mean we suffer. Yes, forgiveness is hard. This is not something I have perfected, and still working on. People should be held accountable, but I am confused about what in your case. I don't thnk mercy means letting someone get away with breaking promises and committments. Pray about it. I don't mean that glibly. It sounds like you are going through some tough times. May God's peace be with you and guide you in what you should do and have peace that it is the correct things to do. Blessings!

Carla - posted on 09/13/2011

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My side of the family are ALL selfish and inconsiderate! I think it might be a genetic flaw or something. Inconsiderate people are self-centered, so, of course he wouldn't feel he did nothing wrong, because it involved HIM. You are going to find you spend your time and effort trying to 'fix' them, so they WILL be responsible and considerate. But you know, I have tried for all my life, literally, to make my mother and siblings, nephews, etc, take responsibility for their actions, but until the Lord reveals these things to them, you are wasting your breath. This is very frustrating, especially when they name the Name of Christ, but you have to accept that when we operate in the flesh, we get flesh.

When you have Jesus in your heart, His love turns our thoughts outward. That was His driving force, to reach the lost sheep. We are to be servants. It's hard to keep giving and giving, and people keep taking and taking, but that is the life we are called to. In private I may have a thrash, but ultimately, I know they are acting like their father, the devil, and since he is totally selfish, so are they.

Grace is unmerited favor. When we don't deserve it, grace was extended to us. It is now our job to extend the same to others. The old song the News Boys used to sing 'when we don't get what we deserve, it's a really good thing' is very profound. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We are to go out into the world and do the same.

I hear your heart, sweetheart, and, believe me, I understand. This is where crucifying the flesh comes in and it IS painful! You pray for me, and I'll pray for you.

God bless

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