FORGIVENESS IS NOT EXCUSING
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Psalm 51:6
There is usually no end to the lengths I will go to protect myself from pain. If I believe a partial truth, and if choosing that over something stark saves me from further suffering, isn’t that okay? Not according to my Father. He delights in truth and tells me it’s only for my good and total healing if I value truth as well.
How does this play into forgiveness? When someone wounds me and the pain threatens to undo my heart, I will self-protect by beginning to offer excuses. “They only did that because...” How about, “They didn’t mean it.” Or, “He only does it every once in a while.”
When it’s childhood pain, ultimate forgiveness takes into account an understanding of my offenders as God gives me His eyesight. Supernaturally, I understand why they acted like they did but in the beginning, excusing them as a way to block out the pain is a way of minimizing what they did.
It’s as if I start with a basketball-sized offense. Every time I excuse it somehow, it gets re-shaped and becomes smaller. Eventually, what was once the size of a basketball is now the size of a golf ball. It no longer even resembles the original offense. Forgiving some made-made, altered offense feels much safer whereas forgiving the real thing is excruciating. But, it’s necessary.
Perhaps you’ve extended forgiveness but failed to find any closure. You said the words but have just not felt better. It didn’t feel real and honest. Could it be that you did not allow God to show you the whole truth deep in your spirit? Could it be that you chose to self-protect by minimizing the intent of the offender? There isn’t freedom until each of us forgives the real thing and it’s only bearable with God’s arms tightly around us. Forgiveness is empowered by grace – not something we can manufacture with our own elegant mind-games.
If I love You, I’m a truth seeker. Amen