Repeated Forgiveness

How many times do you forgive? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yes. I know about what Jesus says with seventy times seven and still more, but there is another aspect I’m getting at here. What I normally have in mind is someone wrongs me, they come to me and repent, I forgive, then they go off and do the same thing again and come to me again. It keeps going until they finally stop overall.

As a divorced man now, I’m thinking there might be more to it than that. For instance, there’s no way really my ex can come to me now unless she does it through others. For my own personal sanity, I had her blocked. I don’t delight in saying that. In reality, I hate it. I hate that things came to that level, but I needed to keep my own sanity.

However, I do believe in having an attitude of forgiveness. Now with forgiveness, I do believe you should let the other person come to you first. However, while that does not happen, many times, when I do think about her, I have to be ready to be in an attitude of forgiveness.

It’s not easy. Now I am in seminary now and as I write this blog, I am in the student center and generally, I’m in a good mood most of the time. I do like seminary and I like the field of education gripping me and getting to know students and professors both. However, I would be lying if I said there are not still times of sorrow.

I can see a happy couple on campus and think “I wish I had that.” I can have a flashback to something of my ex and I based on something I see or hear briefly. Sometimes, I can be climbing into bed at night and regretting that it is just me in that bed, despite the fact that I have woken up to see Shiro at my feet in the morning. Sometimes there is still a tendency to want to cry a little bit over the pain.

This is what I have in mind by forgiveness. I find myself having to be willing to forgive the same offense done repeatedly not at different times per se, but still ongoing. I am still deeply hurt by what has happened to me and I understand that such hurt never goes away entirely, even if one remarries. There is still a sense of rejection.

As one who is looking to date now, and I do plan on writing about that sometime, I still feel the sorrow when I send out numerous likes and don’t get a nibble back even. The one conversation that got started ended with me being ghosted. I keep having a longing and a hope. My therapist has referred to someone who is looking for me as much as I am looking for them.

But still, I have to forgive either way. Holding on to anger towards my ex despite what she did to me does not help me at all. I have seen what bitterness does to people and I don’ t want to be one of those people who is ready to spew venom at the very mention of my ex. If anything, I pray for her repentance and for her to know God better. Her suffering won’t improve me in any way and I should certainly not take joy at it.

It’s not always easy though. Sometimes, the temptation to go the other way and hold on to resentment is strong, but that is a cancer that doesn’t do anything to her and destroys me in the process. Why bother?

So right now, I am also learning forgiveness. I also figure if I can learn to forgive this, most anything else in my life will be much easier by comparison seeing as this is the most painful rejection and betrayal of all.

And if you’re struggling, join me in the journey. It might not be an ex, but it doesn’t matter. Holding on to hostility will do you no good.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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