Less Bitterness, More Forgiveness

During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.

Less Bitterness

Not too long ago, a long-time acquaintance of mine did something really hurtful toward me. It wasn’t one of those situations where someone inadvertently hurt you; this was a clear personal attack on me by someone whom I considered to be my friend.

It was upsetting and painful and I wanted to wallow in self-pity and anger over her actions. Truthfully, for a few days, I did. But as I sat and sulked over the wounds this person had caused in my heart, I began to realize this was accomplishing nothing good.

What she did was wrong, there’s no denying that. But if I respond in anger and develop a long-term bitter spirit toward her, I’m just as wrong.

Her actions toward me are her responsibility. But my response to her is my responsibility. I can’t change what she did, but I can choose to forgive.

Bitterness and anger toward someone will never fix a problem. It will only hurt us — and probably the other person, too.

More Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a choice we can make — regardless of whether the other party asks for forgiveness or admits they are wrong. It’s never an easy choice, but it’s always the right choice.

Even though I was angry about this situation, in my heart of hearts, I wanted to choose forgiveness. So I started refusing to allow those upset thoughts to fester in my mind. Instead, I chose to pray for this woman and continually ask God to help me love and forgive her.

Amazingly enough, as I changed my attitude toward the situation, I started to really love this woman and be able to overlook what she had done. In fact, within a few days, I decided I wanted to back up my forgiveness with tangible actions.

So, I thought about something I could do to bless this woman and then I made some things for her, bought a few things I knew she would appreciate, wrote a note, and delivered the goodies to her. Can I just tell you that this felt so very good? After I delivered the gifts to her, I just couldn’t help but smile.

Yes, forgiveness is so much better than bitterness!

For more on this topic, check out Ruth’s post on Less Bitterness and Edie’s post on More Forgiveness. I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed!

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Comments

  1. Rebecca T says

    Crystal- First I want to say that I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I haven’t been to your site in a few months because I never seem to have enough time. However, I had a few spare minutes and popped over to your site. Your post about bitterness struck a nerve and by the end I was crying. I’m going through a few things in my life both personal and professional that fit this message. I have been upset, frustrated, furious and sad about the situations. I’ve talked to a few people but wasn’t able to come up with a solution or way to deal with the situation. Your post gave me a solution- Thank you!

    • says

      {Hugs!} I am so grateful that my post was an encouragement and a help to you. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with some really difficult situations right now.

  2. Rita says

    I tend to be friends and a relative or two with people who love to be powerful. I have been hurt by a blog friend recently. I had considered her a very good friend and was going to send her gifts for Christmas etc. She sent me a list of my faults and told me she was sick of me. I just told her I was done and that was it. Who would want to be friends with me if that is what she actually thought. My problem is that I have a terrible time getting over the hurt. I’ll have a bit of anger but over all it is just so deeply painful. I’m working on getting over it and I am not a grudge holder so I have forgiven long ago. I guess I just don’t understand what happened. Does anyone else do this or am I just weird?

    • Sarah says

      Rita, you’re not weird. You’re normal.

      Crystal, how was your gift received?

      I’ve done a lot of study on this subject and would just like to remind people that while reconciliation is always the aim, it’s not always possible. If you’ve tried to make things right with someone, whether it was “their fault” or yours, and they don’t respond, that’s all you can do. It still hurts, though. :)

    • Rhonda M. James says

      You words resonate with me. I was hurt by someone who was my bff, we grew up together, lost touch, and reconnected. Unfortunately I found out the hard way she was not truly a friend and when the ugliness came out rather than say hurtful, damaging things I kept silent. I have spent the last year isolating myself from any close friendships due to the hurt, loss, and pain I was feeling. My daughter who witnessed the lack of true friendship told me to just delete her from my life. Unfortunately that is not who I am. I have been hurt and used by “friends” before and still extended my hand. I know now that she did not value our friendship and she was not genuine with me. Rita, you are completely normal. In fact I would guess you are kind and caring. The compassionate heart makes it hard to get over hurt. I for one still ponder the loss of a dear friend that I have forgiven, yet it still hurts today. I tend to worry and reflect too much when I care. I do not regret being silent as I know that nothing I said would have been heard. I hope you are able to move on and find better, truer, more meaningful friendships. Who knows a kindred spirit may be found on this blog. Blessings!

      • says

        I go back and forth about this. Bitterness and anger never do anyone good. But I’ve had good friends cut me out of their lives with no reason as to why. The one friend I still see in our similar circles and everytime I see her, I just want to cry. She has chosen to not talk it out with me or reconcile. She throws away friends like yesterday’s trash. So although I have tried to bless her, this woman doesn’t have the energy or will power any longer to continue to try. And God has given me much deeper friendships. Sometimes you have to walk away, but not in a spiteful way. You leave the door open for reconciliation and your heart is always willing, but if it never happens, that is not on you. It’s on them. I have had to let that friendship go and I’m still very sad about it. It has affected me so much. I have friendships now, but I feel like I can’t get close to people. I show them what they want to see and then I walk away. It’s shallow. I just can’t bear at this point to have another painful thing happen to me, so I have chosen to not let my heart get hurt. I know this isn’t right, but self-preservation has kicked in. I have prayed about it over and over. My church is pushing me to be more involved with other women and with people and I just am digging my heels in. I’m going through so much with my health and with losses and grief. I just really can’t bear another thing to drag me down. Maybe all this fighting is why I have health problems to begin with, but people have ruined me for months because of their words. I just don’t always know how to handle that. I get so hurt. I hear you…I just can’t put these words into action somehow. I’m praying God does that for me and helps me to be obedient when I just feel like I can’t let one more person in.

    • GG says

      Rita,

      I have had someone tell me that I was a horrible person, that I should not have children as I would be a terrible mother and criticize me on various other things. I truly thought that she and I were friends and to boot, she is my sister-in-law. I was very hurt.

      Well, the friendship ended. I did not forgive but I did move on. Some time down the road she calls me and asks if I want to go shopping with her. What?!?! After further conversation I did ask why should would want to be friends with me if I am such a horrible person (to be honest I was very suspicious). She told me I had changed.

      I didn’t avoid her but I never completely committed myself to this relationship. My instincts were not wrong. Just recently, because she misunderstood something (and partly forgot something) I have been written off once again.

      As Crystal says, our response is our responsibility. My SIL chose to ignore me when I tried to explain the whole picture so she could see what she was missing – her responsibility. I chose to accept that she doesn’t want a relationship with me really and not to be hurt by her actions – my responsibility.

      I hope you are able to come to a resolution for yourself.

    • Christie says

      I completely relate to the depth of the pain you’re describing. I have found, for me, the only way to get over it is to turn to Jesus. There is just something in knowing that He fully understands the pain, because He has been there. Somehow His compassion is so healing. Every time that hurt rears its ugly head I have to turn back to Him. I have never been able to let go of it on my own without Him. But with Him, I can do anything!
      And if you don’t know Him already, what do you have to lose? Just ask “Who are you?” and He will show you.
      Best wishes to you!

  3. Guest says

    Years ago, I was deeply hurt by my sister in law. She flat out insulted me and my husband (my husband is her brother). It wasn’t just a stupid remark, it was to the core of my being. She added insult to injury on top of that by making an additional flippant comment about how my husband dresses (which is t-shirts and jeans on the weekend, which apparently wasn’t good enough for her). Then, my inlaws decided to get into it even though it wasn’t any of their business. They continued to insult us over the phone, in person, and through email. It’s been 6 1/2 years since that happened. We still communicate, but sparingly. We live 125 miles away from them, which makes the emotional distance easier as well. We have enough people in our lives who truly care about us and who aren’t so self-centered that we’ve forgiven, but not forgotten. I’m guarded with them and I limit the exposure that my children have with them, because I don’t want my children to be exposed to such hatred or to imitate their behavior.

    • says

      I am so sorry that you’ve had to deal with this hurt, but I’m grateful to hear that you have some people in your life who really care about you. {Hugs!}

  4. says

    I’ve always struggled with what the word “forgiveness” means. For some reason, in my mind, forgiveness means that everything is ok. But sometimes its not “ok”, and it never will be “ok”. I learned long ago to let go of bitterness and resentment, but I’m not sure I feel that letting go of the anger necessarily means “forgiveness”. To me its just simply letting go. Definitely a post that made me think about things!

    • Lacey says

      I feel the same way. I just don’t have it in me to drop it and love a person that intentionally hurts me. I can however, learn too move past it and not let it consume me.

    • Cate R. says

      The subject of forgiveness can be complicated. Forgiveness does not have to mean that what the person did was okay. One thing I think needs to be remembered is that straight-up abuse is different. When someone has done something truly evil and harmful, and they are not safe for us to be around, reconciliation is pretty much never a good idea. For example, someone should absolutely never be told they are in unforgiveness if they don’t want to include someone in their life who molested them as a child, even if that person is a family member who is accepted by everyone else (which is my situation). As far as getting our feelings hurt by something someone said, I think Crystal’s advice is sound. Reconciliation in this case doesn’t always have to occur. Sometimes it does, sometimes partially… every situation is different, and it’s good to hear about how people handle it. But I think bitterness is a heart condition more than what we’re showing or doing on the outside. I definitely struggle with this and am always trying to work this out for myself.

    • says

      When my children were little and they did something wrong and needed to apologize we taught them to say, “Will you forgive me?” . Most of the time the person (or their parent) would say, “it’s ok.” But we’d always say, “If it were ok, he wouldn’t need to ask for forgiveness.” Forgiveness and it’s ok are not the same thing. Forgiveness and reconsiliation are not the same. You can have forgiveness without reconsiliation but you can’t have reconsiliation without forgiveness.

  5. Mel says

    I can relate to a lot of this post. My hurting came as a result of my divorce and the things my ex-husband said and did. I for sure thought I would never be able to forgive him. I was angry and bitter. A bad combination. I was making myself sick, mentally and physically. We were already living apart but his thoughts and actions continued to control me. His words were on auto rewind in my head. And every time, I let myself replay his words, I hurt more and hated more. One day, I woke up! Literally, I had been living in such a haze. I was tired of living that way. I knew I was better than how he made me feel. I resolved that I didn’t want to lose me, I love me! And from that day forward, I started living again. And it began with forgiving him. I was not at fault for his actions. He was. I forgave and found my own release, relief and peace. My smile has returned and my laughter rings throughout everything I do.
    Romans 12:17-18
    New International Version (NIV)
    17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

    • Diane says

      I can relate! I don’t know who should get credit for this quote, but it really helped me to put things into perspective after my divorce: “Holding onto a grudge is like swallowing poison and then waiting for the other person to die”.
      Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what the other person did was okay. It means we move on with our lives and let go of the pain.

  6. Marie says

    I’ve been hurt a lot in my life. It started when I was young being teased daily due to a birth defect. Then emotional and verbal abuse from my mother. I’ve been blessed to know the Lord from a young age and truly have seen His hand on my life through the years. He gave me a spirit of compassion for others and the ability to forgive, even when it made no sense to others, all at a young age. I’m so thankful because it kept me from turning into a bitter person.
    The one thing I learned early on is that hurt people hurt others. As hard as it is, try to “walk” in the other person’s shoes. What is happening in their life that may have them hurting others? I definitely am not saying that this is easy. To this day my mother doesn’t acknowledge any wrong doing or anything hurtful she says or does but I still have a relationship with her. I have learned how to still love her and respect her, which is not easy.
    Forgiveness frees the person choosing to forgive. I still have situations that are hard and don’t make sense but they are not controlling my every thought like they did at one time. I have come to realize that not everything is “my fault” (which was a mentality I had most of my growing up because I was told it was) Having compassion for others is hard because when they hurt you, you care more deeply and therefore it’s more painful. I struggle when a friendship fades. I’m the type that if I’m your friend, I’m your friend for life. I am quick to give the benefit of the debt if a friend says something offhand etc. I try to think about times when maybe something’s come out of my mouth totally wrong. I want that person to know that’s not my intent. I extend grace, hoping that it’s extended back to me when I need it.
    Bitterness is such a trap.

  7. says

    Crystal- thanks so much for sharing your honest account and feelings. This is one area that I struggle with, in fact we were just talking about this in Bible study this morning so apparently this is really striking a cord with a lot of women! :) It is so much easier to stew over our bitter and raw emotions, but it is also much more rewarding to seek out God to help us over come whatever hurt we may feel. One thing that helps when I am feeling sad, angry, or bitterness toward someone else is to pray for God to open my eyes to see the person He has created and to love her like He loves her. It’s a really hard prayer to pray, but I find it so helpful to overcome those hard feelings.

  8. Sara says

    There have been times in my life where I have chosen forgiveness even when the other party has not asked for it. But right now I am dealing with a situation that happened with my kids. I feel like an immature Christian to not even want to choose forgiveness, but the “mama bear” instinct to stand up for my kids is strong! And right now it feels like if I “let it go” than it would be acceptance of this adults behavior towards my child.

  9. AK says

    And what a tangible expression of not being overcome by evil, but overcoming evil with good!

    When someone knows us intimately, they also have such power to sting, don’t they? How fascinating that God made us to love with such vulnerability, and teaches us again and again how to love hard despite the capacity for hurt. It sort of adds a depth to being made “in His image” that is startling.

    Prayers for all you tender-hearted women who have been made to feel that your sure foundations are so shaky. Your stories of husbands, family, and dear friends… chosen-isolation, wounds, and fear humble me.

    As a beautiful consequence, I believe that when we are hurt so deeply, our compassion for others grows in equal measure. Suddenly we find ourselves kinder, quieter, and more careful in all our dealings…knowing how long the taint of unkind words lingers, and the damage they can do again and again to a heart.

  10. michelle G. says

    This is a very difficult thing for me to do. I understand that it is good for me to forgive and I try my best, but how do I trust the person who has hurt you so deeply again?

    • Lisa says

      Forgiving is a hard thing to do but it is the most freeing thing you can do for yourself. Forgiving someone does not automatically mean you ‘fully trust’ them again right away. Sometimes after we forgive someone, some distance is needed in order to build up the trust again. Sometimes that trust can never be rebuilt. But, forgiveness allows us to move on with our lives without the destructive powers of bitterness, resentment and anger in our lives.

    • says

      Trust is earned. Forgiveness is something we do because we have been forgiven by God. We trust God completely. People are another story because they break our hearts. If reconciliation has happened and you truly have forgiven the person, trust is going to take time to get back. I don’t think its wrong at all that you don’t trust the person. They’ve shown you who they are, but to let that dictate how you treat them forever would be wrong. Allow God to bring you the place of trust when you are ready, and not a minute before.

    • says

      Michelle G.
      That is where I am! I forgive and move on but there is no trust left. I feel better not having those people in my life too. They make/made me feel bad about myself. I feel like it’s vital to move forward and forgive but I wouldn’t suggest trusting someone that hurt you on purpose unless you know it was an isolated incident.

    • Chrissy says

      A lot of these comments strike a chord in me, but I’m compelled to reply to you, Michelle G. Forgiveness & trust are completely different animals. Forgiveness is bestowed, while trust must be earned. You can grant forgiveness while withholding trust. Here ‘s my example: When I was a child, I was sexually abused by one of my father’s step-brothers. When it came to light, my father ignored it & my grandmother blamed me. The whole episode was quickly swept under the rug for a little more than a decade, until one of my cousins received the same treatment when her molestation by her own father (my father’s brother) came out. Everything that had happened with me came back up, & I became very angry & bitter & cut off all ties with my father & grandmother. The Holy Spirit eventually convicted me of my sin of harboring anger, & I repented & forgave. Years have gone by, & we now have a good relationship. I talk to my father just about every other day, & we always enjoy staying with him when we go back “home”. By no means, however, do I trust either of them. I now have a daughter of my own, & because they have both proven more than once who they are, it would be foolish & reckless for me to trust them with my baby girl. So, all that is to say that forgiveness doesn’t always mean trust. Even if the relationship is restored, sometimes you must be wise enough to believe people when they show you who they really are.

      • says

        very, very good advice. We are in a similar situation with a family member. We’ve forgiven and our relationship has been reconsiled but we have strick boundaries.

    • Natalie says

      I was recently told the phrase “Forgive, but not forget”. I think you can forgive someone for their actions or words and let go of the anger and pain they caused you so it’s not eating you up inside. However, that doesn’t mean you have to forget what they did and become a close friend again. I have had someone in my life recently betray by trust in a big way. Although I am working on forgiveness, I know it will take awhile for me and this person to repair our relationship.

  11. says

    What a great post Crystal! Such a good reminder to us all. Shared on FB. Have a great weekend and I miss you! So much going on over here – my one year Blogiversiry was this week (wow!!). I hope you are doing well and that we cross paths again someday soon! xo

  12. Amy says

    Ran across this one day on FB…

    Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior.
    Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.

  13. Katie says

    This is an inspirational post. I am a devout believer in forgiveness and prayer as a way to get through things. I myself am bitter about past hurts and it does no good. I am glad you are leading by example posting this. If more people did this, the world would be a better place.

  14. Eliane says

    Crystal, your post is perfectly timed. I am struggling with the deepest hurt I have ever experienced. The actions of a friend have cut me to the core, dissolved relationships and ruined a ministry. I am struggling daily to forgive and fight against bitterness. I ignored signs in the past that this was a potentially toxic friendship but now I am praying for how to proceed. I’m unsure whether a tangible act of kindness is the right thing to do in the case of what amounts to emotional abuse. It’s so hard to know how to set boundaries while offering forgiveness at the same time. I’d like to hear your (and other’s) thoughts on this.

    • says

      {Hugs!} Not knowing the situation, I can’t speak directly to it. For me, a tangible act was a way for me to act on my forgiveness — but I didn’t expect it to change the other person. I did it for me, not them. If that makes sense.

      In your case, if it’s a potentially toxic relationship, moving on might be the best thing. Forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation because it takes two parties to reconcile.

      I will pray for wisdom for you. And I’m hoping you have some good friends around you to bless and encourage you while you go through this very painful time? I am so, so sorry.

      • Eliane says

        Thank you, Crystal. Yes, what you’ve said about doing it for you makes a great deal of sense. I think part of my problem is wanting so desperately to understand WHY?!? Why would someone I loved and trusted (and who is a sister in Christ) behave so horribly? It has kept me up for too many nights. I believe the biggest step I can take to avoid bitterness is to quit asking “Why?” Instead, I am making a commitment that from now on when that question pops into my head, I will stop and pray for her. Because whatever caused her to do what she has done to me will certainly destroy her from the inside out. And as much as she has hurt me, as much as I know it is unhealthy for me to be around her, I certainly don’t wish to see her destroyed. Thank you again for your post and your answer. Even though I don’t think my actions need to be the same as yours, it certainly has given me the determination to change my perspective.

  15. Anonymous says

    My sister and best friend for my whole life sent me a venomous e-mail that demonstrated that 1. She didn’t and doesn’t really KNOW me and 2. She doesn’t care enough about our friendship to even be the least bit kind. She followed this with a horrifying blog post justifying her actions, but not ever revealing the true nature of the letter she sent. Just because you perceive someone to be wrong does not mean it is OK to treat them with such hatred.
    I knew that answering her unfounded and inappropriate accusations would simply cause more strife. She perceives it as her duty to “correct” me by fixing what she thinks is broken. I have been forced to cut contact entirely. This would not have been my choice. The truth is that I certainly could have answered each of her horrifying accusations and worded some very pointed and hurtful insults of my own. I certainly am capable of diminishing her. And I have been praying about what to do and how to make it better, but the Holy Spirit keeps telling me to be quiet. The truth is that the work in her life is God’s job and not mine. So I will continue to give my hurt to Him, grieve quietly and obey God. Letting go of that hurt is very hard, especially when it is someone so close and you see no hope of reconciliation. I will keep trying.

  16. says

    It’s amazing how your heart changes when you begin to pray for someone. Even if the hurt’s been there for a while, your heart will eventually soften towards that person and the bitterness will fade away! And, oh how freeing it is to let that bitterness go!

    Thanks for the reminder Crystal!

  17. says

    Wow, these are such powerful posts and comments. Unfortunately, for me, I was hurt by my mother’s brother, who was everything to my mother and me, I never thought he would betray me the way he did (my mother passed away in 2005). Our downfall came a week after I gave birth to my second daughter in 2007, I was still post-partum and what he did and said to me and behind my back was unforgivable to me. I have not spoken to him in 6 years . I have had peace these last 6 years. I have no trouble forgiving people that wronged other members of my family, because the way I see it, they wronged them and they need to work it out with them, that had nothing to do with me, I have reconnected with some family members because the wrong was directed at others, not me personally. But, since he hurt me directly, personally and emotionally, I cannot at the present time forgive and forget. I was told that he wanted to come down for Thanksgiving and I expressed my feelings that I did not wish to see him, secondly, my Thanksgiving plans are to spend them out of town and are already set, (this was before I knew he wanted to come). I have thought about forgivness, but for me at the present time, I cannot do it. While this post gives me hope that certain things can be overcome, maybe one day I can forgive him, but, there is still too much hurt and I have other things to worry about than this particular situation. I hope this doesn’t sound horrible to some of you, but, for me, right now, I am happier not seeing or talking to him and have no plans to forgive him just yet. Maybe one day, but not today

  18. says

    I think your response was fantastic – being bitter will only eat at you. I have had people I care about hurt me. I always try to forgive (sometimes it takes a while), but, to be honest, I never forget.

    I wonder if your friend realized what she did? Reading other people’s stories – I don’t know why people go out of their way to be mean! We all have better things we could be doing with our time.

    As a PS – I really like your new picture. Very nice!

  19. Linda Garrison says

    For church attenders whose lessons are from the lectionaries, this week we look at the forgiveness-faith connection in Luke 17. Ya gotta do it if you believe, even if you feel you only believe a little…

  20. says

    I wrote a reply to someone else below, but I just wanted to add, there are also toxic people in our lives that will drag us to our deaths. We have to know when to set up boundaries and when to discontinue with the relationship as well. I have been reading a book called “The Emotionally Destructive Relationship” by Leslie Vernick. Such a great book if you have toxic people in your life (I’m talking about verbally abusive, physically, spiritually or mentally abusive people–not someone called you a name once). We do have to forgive even those toxic people though because all it does to us is cause more pain. But we don’t have to allow them in our lives or become doormats for further abuse.

  21. Angelia Johnson says

    Forgiveness is a great thing. But shouldn’t accountability and loyalty also be equally important? To me you should let go of any relationships that could or would continue to hurt you. Forgiveness is earned. Having an open and honest conversion of what happened with her would have been my choice. Knowing what motivated her then I could try understand her actions. Then forgive her actions. Then chose to either continue a friendship or not. Holding her accountable for her actions shows her that you have depth of character . Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are a door mat.

  22. Sandy says

    I’ve harbored bitterness over past hurts for a long time – many years. Towards the end of last year, the word Forgiveness was everywhere. It was in every conversation I had, every book I read, every song I listened to. Everything was saturated with this word. I finally sat in my car one day and said, “Okay God. You have my attention. Who do I need to forgive and who have I wronged that I need to ask forgiveness of?” I don’t know what I expected, but I know that I wasn’t prepared for seriously deep soul searching and the freedom that came from admitting the wrongs I’d done to others and asking their forgiveness. I also wasn’t prepared for the response from the ones I’d hurt. I didn’t expect to be thanked for being “humble”, but that’s exactly what happened. And that’s what happens when we experience God’s power in our lives. We begin to realize that we are not in control – God is, and that makes us humble.

    I set out at the beginning of this year to study this word Forgiveness in order understand the true meaning of it. It’s more than just looking at someone and saying, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me,” or saying to someone, “I forgive you for hurting me.” It’s taken the better part of a year, but I can say that one simple truth puts forgiveness in a new perspective for me. The truth: God forgave us for killing his one and only son (John 3:16). The action: Shouldn’t we forgive others for committing lesser crimes against us?

  23. Cathy says

    Thank you for sharing this, Crystal! Your choice to respond to your friend’s hurtful attack on your heart by showing an attitude of loving kindness, compassion and forgiveness to her is an inspiration to me! I am reminded that Jesus endured a whole lot more than this and reacted in the same manner. Oh, how easy it would have been to stay brooding about it forever, but how rewarding to your heart and others it is when you show kindness and love instead! Hugs to you, my sister!

  24. says

    This was a beautiful post. Holding onto bitterness only puts yourself into bondage. I am learning how forgiveness looks differently depending on the situation. Sometimes it means overlooking the offense of another, sometimes it means moving on, truly forgiving, but also making appropriate boundaries with a person. Other times it means working out an offense with another person so that you can have a healthy relationship with them, rather than hiding your hurt. And yet other times, it means confrontation, openness, and honesty, not as a way of revenge, but rather as the only right way to deal with certain serious offenses. Forgiveness takes on many forms, but all are beautiful in their own right.

  25. rosanne says

    The first commenter said how she believes everything happens for a reason. What a reminder. I actually saw this on FB within a day after having a misunderstanding with someone on FB. Although this is a much smaller issue I am dealing with, this was all good to read, and think through. I can identify with being told, made feel like everything is wrong, and always your fault. It can be very difficult, I have found that it easily carries into other relationships, as some have already mentioned. One thing I know is, every time I am hurt, confused, frustrated,it draws me to my Savior and to my knees. Wisdom is needed to work through any relationship’s struggles. It’s encouraging to think of what God’s word has for my heart, in this situation. Thanks for the reminders.