What is Forgiveness?

Shortly after I chose to forgive Wayne, I began to hear several lies about what forgiveness is. Looking back, I can see that the enemy was aiming his arrows of shame at my heart by trying to get me to agree with his explanations of what I had chosen to do. His methods for delivering those arrows came in a variety of ways. Some of these lies were spoken directly to me by ‘helpful’ friends. Some I read in popular magazines. Other times the Liar would speak silently to my heart, painting a vivid (yet wrong) description of who I was, and what I had chosen to do.

The biggest lie that I heard was that I was living in denial. I saw this reaction on several people’s face when I told them that I had forgiven him. I was told that I was nuts and that he didn’t deserve it. Of course he didn’t deserve it. I didn’t do it for him. I did it for me. We have done ourselves a huge disservice by misunderstanding ‘I forgive you’ to mean the same as saying ‘it’s OK’.

I was not in denial; I fully understood how completely wrong his actions were towards me. By forgiving him I wasn’t saying that his actions were OK, I had simply chosen not to hold it against him. I didn’t understand it at the time, but in choosing to forgive, I had released myself from an emotional hold that he otherwise would have had over me. Odd concept, I know. Let me try to explain.

I was already living with the consequences of his betrayals, but through forgiveness, I had released myself from the need to see justice done. I no longer needed to see him hurt as much as he had hurt me. This was actually very beneficial in my healing process because it freed me up to work on my own healing without constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure he was hurting as much as I was. The end result was going to be the same either way -whether I chose to forgive or not, I had a wounded heart that needed to heal. Choosing to forgive just freed me up to heal without the added burden of making sure he ‘got what he deserved.’

The suggestion that I was living in denial was only one of the lies that I heard after I chose to forgive. I will share other lies and hidden truths in later posts. For now though, I want to leave you with this thought: Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling, and by choosing to forgive we help to smooth our road to recovery.

Have you heard the lie that by choosing to forgive you are living in denial? Have you found a way to protect your heart from those arrows by combating them with truth? Leave me a comment and let me hear about your experience.

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Thank you so much for you blog. Forgiveness is very hard for me because I want him to suffer as much as I am suffering. I know I need to begin my healing process, but I cannot stop thinking about the things he told me and what I found out about him and his mistress.

I read this and it was like I

I read this and it was like I could have written it! This is exactly how I feel about forgiving my husband. We are still working through it and he isn't always making me feel that he is 100% committed or that he feels guilty about everything ( I'm still learning things that he is slowly giving me), but I know in my heart without a doubt I forgive and want to heal with him. However, I am struggling to forgive his AP. I am working hard on this, but I just don't feel like I am ready. I understand it is a choice and not a feeling, but I would be telling a lie if I said I forgive her. This is my prayer that I can get there and feel the release within in me because of my forgiveness.

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