July 19, 2012 at 3:16 PMTony

Forgiveness is tough isn't it? Or, is it? It's not so bad with those who repent and are unlikely to do it again. What about those who just carry on? Those who have no idea that they're hurting you. Or perhaps know that they are hurting you and just don't care. Those who have built towers of self-justification for what they do. Whole groups of people who have well rehearsed arguments for acting in ways that damage you and others and have their ears closed to the truth.

It's especially difficult to forgive someone who you once loved and trusted and has really hurt you. You don't really want to be thinking about them. For your own sake you need to think about, and surround yourself with, those who have care and compassion for you.

It's not made easier by sincere Christians who emphasise that it's an absolute imperative that we have to forgive in order to receive our own forgiveness and healing. That our sicknesses are caused by our unforgiveness. This may be true but the trouble (for me anyway) is they make this into an eleventh commandment. The whole purpose of the commandments in the first place is to show that we can't keep them and that we need a saviour. So we don't really need any more commandments.

I've struggled with this for a while. I have found part of the answer in Watchman Nee's "Sit, Walk, Stand" where he advises how to pray to a man who can't forgive. Pray like this: "Lord, I cannot love and I give up trying, but I count on Thy perfect love. I cannot forgive, but I trust Thee to forgive instead of me, and to do so henceforth in me."

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