Why Is Forgiving So Hard?

Have you ever heard of Laos? The United States heavily bombed them during the Vietnam War.

The news had a story of a young man who was just sixteen when a bomb-- small and round, like a toy ball--went off in his hands. He lost his sight, both of his hands, and parts of his forearms. In spite of this tragic event, he seems full of joy and said that he forgives the United States, and he forgives everyone.

When something painful happens in your life, it can feel like a bomb going off.

I keep thinking about that young man, how he kept smiling and seemed almost giddy with happiness. And he annoys me. Why? Because I am nursing anger about this big change in my life. Everything that was my life is altered by my son no longer being home educated. And my freedom is gone, since my calendar needs to revolve around school and practices for him. I'm angry about that.

The news story keeps sticking with me, because God is telling me to let this thing go. I have to surrender it to Him, if I don't want to stay stuck in this ugly place indefinitely. I have to forgive, and it is hard. Instead, I want to fight and yell and rationalize and plead my case!

I'm sure that young man was tempted to do the same. Or at least he should have been. I know I'd be resentful if something another country did caused me to lose parts of my body. He has a right to be very angry.

But he gave up that right, in favor of good things. He said, "...I forgive everyone, because angry [sic], it doesn't give you any good thing." 

 Indeed. (See James 1:20)

How's it working for me, this holding on to my anger, my indignation over the events that have unfolded since my son started going to Fairmont Catholic?

It isn't. I am miserable, and I end up snapping at everyone, even my precious son whom I don't get to see much now.

It feels powerful to be angry, doesn't it? Like you are controlling an uncontrollable situation. But that's a lie the devil uses to keep us stuck, because he knows that Jesus said if we are going to hold onto offenses and not forgive, then we can't partake in the forgiveness that He offers (Matthew 6:14-15).

I don't want to stand on my rights on earth and lose my rights in heaven. I want to be with Jesus for eternity, to fellowship with Almighty God and to know what it is like to lose this weariness of earth. So I won't let anger take good things from me. I won't throw away tomorrow by being angry over yesterday.

I will do the hard thing. I will forgive.

Linking with others at I Choose Joy!
The Deliberate Mom
Joyful Homemaking


  1. Amen Selena! This is definitely a thought provoking post. I love this,"I don't want to stand on my rights on earth and lose my rights in Heaven." May we always have a heart of compassion and understanding like Jesus shows us. Let those around us see a reflection of Christ in our lives. Thank you for sharing these poignant thoughts today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and yours!

  2. You're so right, Selena. Forgiveness can be difficult to give, but I think once we make peace with it, it does us more good than the involved party we're trying to forgive. It shows more about who we are than the person we were at odds with. A very thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing it with us on #shinebloghop


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