Chapter 8: Unchangable Feels Unforgivable
“There is nothing more powerful than a person living what God’s word teaches.”
I’ve spent a long while reflecting over the bullet points of this chapter:
- Forgiveness is more satisfying than revenge.
- Our God is not a do-nothing God.
- Your offender is also suffering from pain.
- The purpose of forgiveness isn’t always reconciliation
- The enemy is the real villain.
It takes me back to a Bible study I participated in a handful of years ago: A Healing Journey. Many of the same points made there; the awareness of those realizations forever etched in my heart.
I’ve long known that our God is a do-nothing God. In fact, HE is the ultimate <and only> true judge of our thoughts and actions on this side of heaven. I’ve trusted that He will address wrong-doings and accepted that I may never know what that entails. I am really, really okay with that because I believe that how He judges and deals with this sort of thing is none of my business.
I’ve also really embraced the idea that the enemy is the real villain and that he often acts through people to accomplish his mission.
Reflecting over my own hurts, and need for true and complete forgiveness, I appreciate the realization/reminder that the purpose isn’t about reconciliation and seeking revenge wasn’t ever really a burning desire…I’m at a point that I really just don’t care to add to the drama, which revenge certainly would.
But here’s where my mind spins:
What happened in these people’s lives that has resulted in their need to personally attack, judge, gossip, manipulate, guilt trip, compare, complain, play the victim card and constantly keep a pot of drama stirred? Or what has happened that causes someone who wouldn’t instigate this sort of thing on their own but is easily drawn in to participate instead of shutting it down?
What need is being satisfied? What itch, scratched?
Once again, those details are none of my business and I really don’t need to know. In fact, I don’t even need to spend time pondering in detail because my job at this juncture isn’t to know. My job is simply to accept there is hurt that needs healed and build up my spiritual capacity to have compassion.
Spiritual capacity for compassion means focusing on my own healing of hurts inflicted by others.
For all that I don’t know, what I do know is this: when there is a God shaped hole in our hearts, it can only be filled with God.
Nothing else will completely satisfy. There will always be gaps.
Seeking HIM is a good place to start and return to whenever stuck in the muck of this sticky and mucky journey.
Chapter 9: Boundaries That Help Us Stop Dancing with Dysfunction
Remember when I said I signed up for a 3-part email series on this book before it launched?
And it was that email series that had me scrambling to place my pre-order…and then anxiously await the books arrival?
The nuggets of wisdom in that email series came largely from this chapter and so I said it before but I will say it again:
This chapter left me feeling liberated.
It squashed many mis-conceptions about forgiveness I’d learned via the world. It gave me the words to clearly communicate the “why” behind boundary decisions I’d made.
I have witnessed (and experienced) time and again the truth behind the statement “relationships that need boundaries will not get better on their own” and “it’s time to teach some people how to treat us”.
Some folks are in the business of always placing blame on others and playing the victim.
They don’t accept responsibility for their actions and expect everyone to just tolerate their dysfunction. They think that because they are “family” or have a “long history” or that they are owed in some way that they can get away with treating people however they want, without consequence.
I know these people. I’ve experienced them first hand. I’ve watched as they’ve done the same to others.
They continue with bad behavior because history has proven they always get away with it; it’s rare for anyone to shut it down and set a boundary…if it happens at all.
So why change?
But I’ve reached a breaking point. A point that I will no longer tolerate being treated like a doormat.
I realize my capacity to respond to these shenanigans with certain people is VERY limited at this point and because I have to be accountable for my actions and reactions, the time I spend with these folks has to be minimized….in some cases no contact at all.
I also realize my capacity to feel compassion for their hurt that drives them to this dysfunction is limited.
If compassion is key to forgiveness, I understand that boundaries now are essential for any future glimmers of hope for relationship restoration.
It REALLY IS time to teach some people how to treat us! As Lysa said, what we allow is what we will live.
I simply will NOT to allow Satan to have an open gateway into my life via these people who haven’t quite figured out how to treat others with love and respect.
And if someone doesn’t like my boundaries (that were set, not to punish anyone but to hold ME together), then they were probably one of the reasons I needed them in the first place.
Love and Hugs from Colorado,
A gorgeous reminder that a difficult journey often ends in the most beautiful destination: keep going!!
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Quotes, direct and paraphrased, are used throughout this article from “Forgiving What You Can’t Forget” as beautifully written and owned by Lysa Terkeurst