I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

More on Forgiveness

I can only speak about forgiving my perpetrators from my own view of life. I'm a serious Christian and I try to obey what the Bible teaches me. Jesus taught what we call "The Lord's Prayer" and that includes a plea for God to forgive us, "As we forgive." (See Matthew 6:19-13.)

Many people don't go on to read the next verse: "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins" (verses 14–15 NLT).

The process begins with my sense of being forgiven, just as in the Lord's Prayer we ask God to do that. The next step is that we forgive others. Here's how I see it: The more I appreciate unearned forgiveness by God—and I call that grace—the more I am able to focus on others who haven't earned the right to have their sins taken away. The proof of my being forgiven is that I can then forgive.

It doesn't have to happen immediately and it may take weeks or months (as it did with me), but if we grasp even a glimmer of the grace given to us, we're ready to offer it to others.

This may not work for everyone, but it has worked for me.

Perhaps one of you would like to share your process of forgiving.
Or share your struggle that prevents your forgiving.

1 comment:

wondering04 said...

I used Lent to forgive - prayed for my abusers for 40 days. Figured it was better than giving up stuff.
What I didn't realize was how empowering it was to forgive. First I left the burden of the past, but it takes a better person to forgive. I ceased being a victim and became a victor.

I had to weigh a lot of things in balance. A trusted confident pointed out to me that I was not perfect, what if God did not forgive me for what I did? Who was I to play God and not forgive someone? Also, if I am holding unforgiveness, the only one hurt is me.

In my case my abusers were dead. I can imagine it is harder to forgive some one if they are living and you are around them. But still, I found that forgiving was for ME, really had nothing to do with the person.

My sense of unfairness wanted them to apologize for their abuse, to feel sorry, but the truth is, whether they are sorry or not, I no longer had to carry the burden.

You are a blessing. I thank you for your thoughtful posts that help to sort out the tough stuff.

Heather