My friend hadn’t been very open, but I remember saying one sentence: “There’s no one who can’t be forgiven.”
Nearly five years later, Neal and I were talking about his abuse. He reminded me of the words I had spoken. “You’re right. It’s more than just forgiving him, but it also means I can move on from my pain.”
Although glad for where he was, I wish I had also said, “When you’re ready to forgive or to release the hurt, you’ll see it differently.”
He smiled and nodded. “I felt that by not forgiving I was withholding something from him—giving him pain for his evil deeds. Perhaps that seems incredulous, but I wanted him to suffer.”
It’s sad, but that’s the confused reasoning of many. We want them to hurt; we want them to feel the agony they caused us.
Life just doesn’t work that way. We forgive for our own sake. As long as we hold on to the hurt they caused, healing doesn’t take place.
I need to forgive those who hurt me,
and when I’ve hurt enough, I will.