Recently, I listened to a podcast featuring an interview of a woman who had been sexually attacked and how she was able to eventually forgive the criminal. Her priest told her to forgive the criminal is not to condone the action, forget it or to ever have any interaction with the criminal. Not forgiving is like drinking posion and hoping the other person dies. Not forgiving only damages yourself. Forgiveness is taking the power away from the other person. The priest advised her to pray for the criminal, forgive him and seek professional counseling. She said that after years of waking up each morning and actually saying, “I forgive him and God bless him” she was finally able to forgive him and be free.
Forgiveness is about shedding the pain, letting go of the anger, and taking your life back. Forgiveness does not say that the action was ok and the person is fine. It is letting go and releasing all the hurt. Don’t drink the posion. The only way to peace is through forgiveness. In a situation like this professional help should be a part of the equation.
As a person who has never experienced such trama I cannot imagine having the courage to forgive. However, I hope that over time and with a counselor’s help and God’s help I would find a way to do it. Otherwise, it would wreck my life. Think about who you cannot forgive. Today, say a prayer for that person and simply consider what your life would look like if you could forgive. Forgiveness could set you free.