I have a question about forgiveness and wondering if you can help me.
How does forgiveness work?
I don't mean the forgiveness we generally give each other for the small things in life; the ones where after you say "I forgive you" we act as though nothing happened.
But what is it is an act which violates your soul the boundaries of reason and is persistent with their act and the person responsible is your spouse, father, mother, sister, brother, son, friend, relative?
Can we say "I forgive you" and continue? What if every time you talk to this person they continue their attack, every time you hear of them talking to someone about you they are persistent in their attack. And…what if you cannot get away from the relationship you are intertwined for life?
An epiphany hit me as I am writing;
If I first don't take the attacks personally; then I can forgive. If I continue to take them personally, then it's like a wound which never heals.
If I understand they are in pain thus is why they attack, then it is their pain which is the cause. My analogy is the likeness of trying to approach a Tiger or Bear; they defend first.
What if this Tiger or Bear was hurt and we are trying to help. The animal strikes out in protection of itself; but we know these attacks are not meant towards us personally, they are simply defending themselves.
Since we don't take the attacks personally, meaning we forgive them for the attacks; we don't let it detour us from trying to help. Thus we approach with love and if we get injured in the process, we did so in an act of love.
If you are interested, the book; "The Reason for God" by Timothy Keller has a great chapter on forgiveness. I could not get past this chapter for months because I am struggling with forgiveness.
What I have written here is my first large step into understanding true forgiveness.
I am curious; what have been your experiences and how did you come to forgive, or maybe you haven't yet, I would be interested in hearing your story.