Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Right to Healthy Boundaries

Why is it so hard to forgive?
Well, for me, it is hard because, even though I know it is not so, deep inside, there is something in me that deceives me into thinking that forgiving means letting the other person off the hook. That "something" that continues to block forgiveness is my pride.  I am too proud to forgive.  I was deeply wounded. I was wronged.  And those whom I love continue to be hurt and oppressed as well, and I am in pain because of their pain.  Therefore, I don't want the offender to get away with it.  I want justice!

However, while my pride continuously reveals the offense and keeps the wound open, it hides the truth.  My pride hides the truth that justice does not belong to me.  Vengeance is the Lord's! (Deuteronomy 32: 35)  I am not the one who ought to judge.  It is not up to me to seek the offender's contrition and repentance.  The Lord will take care of all that, in due time.

Another reason I am hesitant to forgive is because I often believe that if I forgive, I need to restore the relationship.  However, that is not at all what forgiveness means.  God never would want me to stay in a toxic relationship that will only bring me harm.  Forgiveness is the command, but sometimes it is necessary to maintain healthy boundaries in order to survive.  While forgiveness can and often is a one-sided action, healthy relationships must involve the good will of all the parts.

For a relationship to work there must be trust and love.   God would not ask us to stay near the one who has violated our trust or has demonstrated his/her lack of care.  Therefore, it is important that I tell my pride and my confused sense of making things right, to take a hike so I can enjoy the freedom of breaking the chains of lack forgiveness.  It is time I realize that I have to forgive so I can be healed.  I have to forgive so I can have peace.  I have to forgive so I can have joy back into my life.  I have to forgive so I can move on.

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