Alright, pop quiz: What do YOU do when someone does something awful to you? I mean something out of the blue, unexpected, painful and maybe even scary.
This happened to me this weekend. Know what I did?
Started to forgive them. Why? Because God wanted me to. Period.
In case you think that I forgave this person to move on, feel better, and be whole, let me just burst your bubble right now. This felt a lot more like eating broken glass, which is how I know it must have been the real thing.
Ok, so how did I forgive this person even while they were still doing me harm? It wasn’t easy, but there are some concrete things you can do to work your way toward forgiveness:
- Keep your mouth shut. I wasn’t perfect on this point. I contacted two friends because I was scared, upset, and in a lot of pain. But after that, I did not relate the sordid tale to anyone else. I woke up the next day, thinking that was that, but the temptation to bring it up and rehash it was everywhere. It’s difficult but I will continue to keep my mouth closed.
- Be accountable for your part in the problem. I don’t want to say much here, but pretty much any disagreement in the world involves at least two parties. Review the situation and honestly admit to yourself what you could have done better, then learn from it.
- Protect yourself. When someone does something awful, we do have to protect ourselves and our families. No laws were broken in this case, but I did make calls to confirm that and took as many steps as I could to protect our family.
- Pray for your enemies. I know, that’s Biblical, but I did it. And when I say pray, I don’t mean, “Dear Lord, please let them know how bad I feel, what they did, blah blah blah.” I mean pray for them: their health, their wealth, their peace, and an overflow of God’s abundance in their lives.
- You’re NOT doing this for you or for them. Really, they don’t care, and again, it’s like broken glass. And if you don’t mind me getting a little Christian on you, do you really think when Jesus was dying on the cross and he prayed for his tormentors he did it to feel better? No way. He did it because it was God’s will that he do it. Same applies here.
If all that fails, just pray it out or listen to Joyce Meyer’s awesome series on forgiveness. If that fails took, don’t worry, broken glass is really hard to swallow.